In a country where there is 85% unemployment I wonder how people survive. The minimum wage in Haiti was recently raised from $4.44 to $5.00 a day. So 15% of Haiti is making $5 a day. How do they live? “A recently published report by Solidarity, the nonprofit affiliate of the American Center for International Labor, said based on the cost of basic expenses and a basket of food items, a garment worker in Port-au-Prince needs to earn $23.12 for an eight-hour day to support a family of four.” Even workers like ours, who are making double and sometimes triple the minimum wage. How do they live? Yes, $5 a day would feed one person but everyone has a family. And even if they made enough to feed their family there is no extra to send their kids to school. Now, keep in mind we are talking about the 15% minority that do have jobs. What about the 85% that don’t have jobs? How do they live?
I have always known the figures, but was hit with the reality yesterday. One of our translators recently lost her grandfather who was caring for two girls. There was now no one to care for the girls and everyone in the family thought she would be the best one to take them. She tried to get out of it and didn’t want them, but they sent them with her anyway. She comes to us having nothing but the two girls and the one pair of clothes on their bodies that they sent them in. No clothes, no toiletries, no shoes, no school, no food, no beds, and no job. I sat there just staring at these two girls and the women that has them and thought “Why on earth did you agree to take them when you can’t even feed your own family?” We did everything we could to give temporary help. A few pillowcase dresses, a few pairs of flip-flops, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, a small loan to get the girls into school that will be paid back by doing some cleaning around our house, and then we sent them on their way. You might be thinking, “Wow, that must have made you feel so good to be able to help them out.” But it didn’t because I know the struggle I just sent them out to face and I can’t do anything to change it. This is Haiti.
This is happening everywhere. Children are abandoned. Sometimes people take them in, sometimes they live on the streets, sometimes they end up as slaves, and sometimes they die. We keep hearing from everyone that Haiti doesn’t need more orphanages and orphanages promote child abandonment. But the reality is children are abandoned. Period. With or without orphanages, children are abandoned and we can’t stop it from happening. There is absolutely no explanation for how all these people in Haiti are surviving except for one. God loves them, and He alone is sustaining them. No mission or ngo in Haiti can ever alleviate all the poverty. God tells us there will always be people poor, hungry, suffering, and orphans. There is nothing you or anyone else can do to eliminate it completely. People constantly come down with ideas and desires to “fix” Haiti. But we cannot loose focus on why God sent us here. Satan would love nothing more than for us to get caught up in all these humanitarian ideas of how to help Haiti economically and forget about Haiti spiritually. Yes, we need to physically feed, clothe, and educate people when we are able because God commands us to meet the basic needs of others. But it’s worthless if we are not feeding and educating them in God’s Word.
It’s easy to look around and feel like there is no hope for Haiti. But our hope is in the Lord!! Not in money, family, jobs, government, etc. You cannot place your hope in the temporal, but only in the eternal. So, there is Hope for Haiti and it doesn’t come in the form of any human, ngo, or mission organization. It only comes from one source. The Author and Sustainer of life. The only reason that in a country with 85% unemployment people live. He is the One True God, His son is Jesus Christ, and He is the only One who gives us a Hope and a Future!