Allegedly President Trump complained about immigrants from “shithole nations”. Haiti was one of the nations singled out. The country and people have a special place in my heart. I have traveled there twice (The church is preparing a fourth trip). It is a place full of dysfunction. But the people I have met are full of love. In need of our help. So I was riled up — to the point of changing my facebook profile (wow, right?!).
Then I saw this video from Jeremy Courtney. He spoke honestly — while he doesn’t like the language, he sometimes looks at Iraq as a nation in the toilet. When the power is out, when bombs explodes, when he struggles with government corruption… it can feel like a shithole. But Jeremy was building to a new question — beyond the debate if these nations exist — to ask: If there are in fact “shithole nations” — what is our responsibility?
The debate of responsibility often turns into a history debate. Did colonialism or global trade agreements or slavery… lead to Haiti’s current situation? Did the American occupation hold the nation back (History of Haiti)? I have my opinion, you have yours, but the debate misses the point.
History makes responsibility only an issue of causation. Whoever caused the situation in the past is responsible now. But our heart teaches another level of responsibility.
Imagine my home tonight. It is cold, ice and snow on the ground. Right now Megan is preparing meatloaf (probably wishing I would quit blogging). But imagine there is someone on our doorstep, cold and hungry. How they arrived – we have no idea. We certainly didn’t put them at our door. But there the person sits. Should we go on with our meal? Should we debate why this person doesn’t pick themselves up? Or should we help?
We didn’t cause this person to arrive, but in our soul another level of responsibility cries out. It is the same voice that Jesus answered, and it calls to action. We are responsible.
Haiti sits on the doorstep of our nation — hungry, homeless, illiterate… The US has food, infrastructure, education… In comparison, we are excessively wealthy in every category. Whether we caused the situation or not, our table is overflowing. And this makes us responsible – because Jesus first loved us.
In Christ we get our hands dirty and reach down into the hole… just as our Savior did.
“He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.” — Psalms 40:2
If you are interested in joining our trip to Haiti or helping, feel free to contact me. Click here to learn more about the trip here.