"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." -Jim Elliot
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Why I need a cook in Haiti....
"You are faithful God." As I sit down to work on budgeting, I am overjoyed to hear these lyrics in the background. He is faithful!
I want to take a chance to explain a few things about my budget. There are a couple of needs that seem odd until you truly think about them. For example, I'll have a cook in Haiti. Moving to a third world country and having a cook might seem extravagant, but I'll get to that. I will also have someone to do my laundry and individuals helping me with language development.
In terms of cooking, I have to to have help, seeing as...I have no idea what I am doing. I won't have a regular stove, and cooking beans and rice is much harder than boiling a pot of water and opening a can. Cooking in Haiti is so different than what we do here and meals are never prepared quickly. So if I were to cook most meals myself, I would have no time to teach or complete other tasks. The same goes for laundry, few of us in America have the faintest idea how to truly hand wash clothes. I will also have someone who goes to the market for me, or with me for a while. The market will be an overwhelming place when I barely know the language and have no idea what to buy. More importantly, Haitians can barter with Haitians far better than I can!
Another initial monthly cost is a translator and language helper/tutor. Over time of course, these needs will decrease as I lean Creole. At first though, having a translator and tutor are necessary.
The most important things about these needs, regardless of monetary value is relationship. When a woman is in my home cooking and often sharing meals with me, we become friends. She invites me in and Jesus works in beautiful ways to break down walls. When I spend time with a translator day after day, he becomes my friend and the Lord gives me the opportunity to share with him. Over time, I become reputable in the community because of the relationships I have built. This is an incredible ministry outside of teaching and all the other work at HAFF. Building these relationships is actually necessary to make changes in the long term, it allows us to understand one another. This is the ministry of living and surviving in an unfamiliar place, with the people who know it best. The definition of ministry stretches much wider than we often allow it to.
So, your $10 a month does not just pay the woman who does my laundry, it creates an income and it creates a relationship. The $75 a month that you commit, means that there will be a Haitian woman walking with me in the market and maybe together we can show a country seeped in voodoo that an American and a Haitian can become friends because Jesus is bigger than culture.
I might work with people who are Christians, but often in a place like Haiti misconceptions run wild. Every chance I have to express the truth about Jesus and what He did for us, I will take. You are a part of that. As my support team, you are helping to build upon HAFF's foundation in the community of Bohoc. I believe a movement can begin in Bohoc that will spread across Central Haiti. For this to happen we must continue to work with, pray for and strengthen the Haitians. Thank you for partnering with me as I not only teach, but cook, wash clothes and learn a new language!