Last night I sat on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Carribean drinking Laphroaig and smoking a cigar and sharing stories with a friend about growing up. About 2 hours earlier they were showing me a Haitian Village that they built a few years ago that was in fair disrepair, I'll post a few pictures, but the conditions were terrible. The contrast is palpable. Odd that it strikes me here because I'm only 15 min drive away from this Village and it affects me, I'd sit at home and do the same thing and the Village still exists!

Basically what I'm doing here is casing out the opportunity to volunteer the 'joneses' for the summer to come and help with an organisation called The Samaritan Foundation. I like that name incidentally. I like to think I would have been the Samaritan in the story.

Really amazing opportunities here...I've been to places like this before and while it sounds fairly crass, if you've seen one slum, you've seen them all - the basic elements are garbage, no sanitation, garbage, no sanitation, garbage, no sanitation...repeat. They are horrible. I've never been to a slum I liked. (that could be a great fundraising one steal that!)
I worked for two weeks when I was 17 in a slum in Guatemala - it was intense and we slept in the 'church' building in that slum - it was a little rougher than where I'm sleeping here!

I've realised two things so far that I am sure of -
1. I was built for this kind of stuff. My mind is FULL of ideas and ways to help and things that can be done. Being tempered by the realities of the 3rd world and the expectations we westerns have with our modern upbringing, nevertheless - I was built for this. I can feel it in my bones.
2. I need the language. We can help a lot - but without the language it is going to be hard.

Those are the things I'm sure of - here's what I'm not sure of....or maybe processing.
1. How to engage and make lasting differences to culture. This must be part of the thinking and it hasn't been the organisations prime goal - in fact not at all really - they have dealt with the first physical need.
2. Food is becoming very important - the grocery store here is about the same expense as home it seems to me. Growing food is going to be important. (Rob...this is where you come to need a little heavenly wisdom if you can spare a moment from worshipping Jesus! [theology still to be determined on that comment!])
3. I'm afraid. I'm afraid of bringing my family here. The Villages are easier, the city not so much - and the whole white thing stands out quite a bit!
4. Racism is alive and well in the DR. The Haitian Village doesn't receive garbage collection. The City just refuses to do it.
5. Bringing a family here for an extended period of time will be very different from going for 2 weeks on your own.
6. What does this mean for me long term - and for us as a family when we get back in the fall.

Today I need Jesus. I need to hear Him and follow Him. I need to hear Him say - 'come, follow me.'

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