Lifesong staff member Anne Bradley shares—
So much about Haiti has changed,
so is Haiti worth saving?
The Haiti I remember offered a simple lifestyle, friendly neighborhoods, and clean streets.
I was born and raised in a small village, without electricity, where we got water from a well and washed our clothes by hand. Life wasn’t perfect, but people watched over each other. They smiled and greeted you on the streets even if they didn’t know you.
When I moved to Haiti’s capital at age 12, my eyes were open to many things. I saw bright lights, paved streets, and big houses. I also noticed children begging on the streets. In my village, only blind adults would beg on the streets. Children without parents were cared for by other relatives.
During my teenage years, most of our free time was spent at church in kids’ programs and youth retreats that kept us focused and out of trouble. Then, in 1985, people started complaining openly about the government. After thirty years of Duvalier father and son governing through fear and harshness, Baby Doc Duvalier left the country in 1986. Since then, there hasn’t been much peace. Instead of getting better, Haiti has gotten continually worse.
Now, the gangs that were once confined to the slums are roaming the streets, terrorizing and kidnapping people, bringing anarchy and despair to what we call a failed state.
“They say there is no hope for this land. However, I find hope in the stories of those who have defied hardship and suffering to give hope where hope did not exist.”
Where does hope exist in Haiti?
School principals, not knowing how they will pay their teachers, still open the doors to school so that children will have a safe place to learn.
Teachers come to class and teach, even though they too are hungry, because they believe in their calling as educators.
Pastors engage in community development while bringing the Good News to the lost.
Children in communities like Bercy would have lived in sheer poverty if it were not for Lifesong providing jobs, health care and clean water.
So is Haiti worth saving?
Let’s look at it through the eyes of the children living there now, who have the same hopes and dreams that we all have, yet who see their world crumbling around them.
“If God created each child in His own image, if He cares so deeply about each one … should we not care about them, too?”
Let’s keep praying that God will move hearts in Haiti to turn away from strife and violence. Let’s pray too for the children that are suffering there now. And let’s take advantage of the opportunities before us, to touch the lives of children in tangible ways.
I long to see all of Haiti’s vulnerable children receive the loving care and education they need.
Lifesong is helping me be a part of fulfilling that dream.
Reach children in Haiti with Gospel-centered care.
Anne Bradley is a Haiti Social Work Coordinator, supporting Haiti Lifesong schools, educational programs, and staff trainining, coordinating the successful transition of students from Lifesong residents to independent adults, and fostering a culture of compassionate Christian fellowship through spiritual formation and social work best practices.