Wednesday, January 13, 2010


When you read about the earthquake in Haiti .. the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and see the scenes of devastation, come back and check the picture above. That's what Port-au-Prince was like when we visited there, on a mission trip, in July of 1970. I took the picture one afternoon as we drove through the city on the way North, and if you would, just picture that street with the buildings tumbling down around, and on, all those people.

Now, we'd been told how our hearts would be broken for the people, but frankly, I went through the whole week without that ever happening to me. But .. see the photo that follows:

That's the front entrance to the Hotel Marabou, where we stayed the night we arrived, and the night before we left, on each of our mission trips there (1970 and 1974). There was always a gaggle of local folks standing around there, waiting for the tourists to come out. That was true the morning we were leaving to come back home, and one of those was a man who shined shoes.

I have to say he wasn't anything like a normal "shoe-shine man" you'd see here. He had a cardboard box full of rag-tag brushes, half-empty shoe polish tins, old rags, etc. And our trip leader told us the going price for a shoe-shine was a ten cents.

Now, Haiti is like a lot of other Caribbean countries, in which the sellers at the markets start with a high price, expecting tourists to want a "deal" .. to chew them down on the price. Well, the shoe-shine man asked for a dollar to shine my shoes.

I eventually chewed him down to the dime we'd been told to pay. But .. and this was the first really big "but" of its kind I'd ever experienced, God broke my heart. Right then and there.

As this man .. probably in his 40's or 50's .. crouched at my feet, I saw him as a man, like me, trying to support his family. And I knew his wife wouldn't be a "working mom" like we see in the USA, and I knew he probably had several kids to feed.

Through tears, I gave him the buck he'd asked for. He seemed surprised, but I sure felt the better for it.

As you see pictures of the devastation and the injuries and the dead there, think also of the ones least able to deal with this tragedy.

As horrible as it is for everybody living there, think especially of the children. The ones above were orphans, well cared for in an orphan's home well North of Port-au-Prince. But you can bet there were tens, or hundreds, of thousands of less-fortunate children in Port-au-Prince and the surrounding areas, so devastated yesterday.

Like I said. Pray.

****EDIT NOTE****
Shame on you, Pat Robertson, for your remarks about this tragedy. SHAME ON YOU!!



At 3:11 PM, January 13, 2010, Blogger Coffee Bean said...

I'm praying. Thanks for sharing your pictures.

At 1:55 PM, January 21, 2010, Blogger The Running Person said...

Pat Robertson is dog poop, and that's all I have to say about that.


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