HAITI – “Do you want to know what it is like to live in Haiti? I mean really, do they have it THAT bad there?
“Picture your house, mentally remove EVERYTHING that uses either electricity or running water. Now, remove all carpeting and stuffed furniture, including the bed. Replace this with a straw mat. No floors, no slab, just bare earth and a thatched roof. Take out all the screens in your house. While you’re at it, remove the windows and the doors. No grass around the house. Got a good picture?
Good. Now picture yourself with no car, or bike, or shoes for that matter. No job, no unemployment or welfare checks. You have no money, no bank accounts, no credit cards, no refrigerator, no ice, and no food. You are hungry, and to make matters worse, your children are hungry.
“On top of that, they are sick, full of worms, and usually naked. This is the AVERAGE Haitian!! God’s people, just like you and me, just born farther south and east.”
That’s how the FBO, For Haiti with Love, describes the reality of life for the average Haitian. Even framed as they have so ably done, it is still beyond our ability to grasp.
Birthed by an irresistible call from the Lord, the late Don DeHart established For Haiti with Love in 1982, but not without difficulties at nearly every step of the way. Facing obstacle after obstacle, DeHart arrived at the conclusion that more than his pastoral training and construction skills were required. He resigned his plans to the Lord, praying, “We are yours. Haiti is the priority. Where do we go from here?”
For Haiti with Love is not trying to build bigger barns (Luke 12:16-31). The team simply does what funding allows them to do to improve the lives of Haitians and disciple them for Jesus.
The team’s medical ministry is unique on the island nation in that it offers a burn clinic that is free to all in need. Plus, they are open 24 hours a day.
Why is a burn clinic so important? Because the primitive lifestyle that Haitians endure exposes them to burns that would rarely occur in the United States during the 21st century.
Cooking is done primarily over open fires. Small children are especially vulnerable to stumbling into the coals and flames. Adults are not exempt.
Homes and businesses lack protection from the danger of fire. Without electricity, fire is the only source of light. All it takes is one spark, one burning ember, or a candle to start a fire that will cause injury. Where there are open fires, someone can get hurt. Where there a lot of open fires, a lot of people suffer burns.
With rampant poverty in Haiti, people cannot afford to pay for burn treatment. Burnt, exposed skin must, however, be treated. Eve DeHart explains that “burns open your body to outside germs and possible infections. And the more they burn, of course, the more the exposure and the more likely it is that without treatment it would be fatal.”
The medical staff at the free burn clinic share the love of Jesus and His healing power for the soul while they administer burn treatments. Burn victims require continual medical attention, particularly redressing their wounds.
Mrs. DeHart told Mission Network News that, because the injured cannot afford to pay, the local for-profit hospitals wrap burn wounds in dry gauze and send them to the For Haiti with Love clinic to be treated.
Bottom line? The Haitians have nowhere else to go for healing their burn wounds and nowhere else to go but to the Lord for the healing of their souls. The doors to the clinic are open all day every day, and so are the loving arms of Jesus.
To read more news on World Missions on Missions Box, go here.