A Day in the Life in Haiti

The Mathis family ministers in Haiti. 

Mwen bezwen ou. I need you. I have a love/hate relationship with these 3 words.

In English we’d simply say, “I need to talk to you”, which is what they are saying but it always comes with an ask. I feel my insides tense up. At times I can say “yes”, but so often my answer is some “form of a no”, because we understand the need to help without hurting in a country where aid has created dependency and hopelessness.

Some days it’s simple…

  • I need paper
  • I need to iron my school clothes
  • I need a copy...this typically comes via a message on my phone as the sun is coming up because they need it by 6:30am, before they head to school
  • I need to do research for a paper at school…can I sit on your porch and use your computer
  • I need help with an assignment
  • I have a cold, a headache…can you give me medicine?
  • They show you open wounds from an accident or illness that need over the counter treatment
  • Ban’m ti dlo souple…can you give me a drink of water?

Some days it’s much more complicated…

  • I don’t have money to go to school
  • I need to borrow money
  • Ban’m dola! Give me a dollar!
  • My family is only eating every 2-3 days
  • Can you ‘take’ my child…my children…as they push them toward you
  • I need help with school, which means paying for school
  • They bring you to an injured person or bring that person to you, and they need a hospital
  • Can you ask your friend to take my children into their orphanage?
  • I’m hungry. Give me something to eat…usually accompanied by a little hand movement that looks like they are slicing their throat and then they point to their stomach and put their hands out
  • I need a job

Last Saturday, “mwen bezwen ou” led to one of the better conversations I’ve had. One of the young men in the youth group we do life with said he wants to understand what it means to follow Jesus. He stopped by again last night with the rest of the gang and we’ll meet today. I’ll put a kreyol Bible in his hands and we’ll begin to look at what God’s word says about becoming a follower of Jesus.

BonDye, mwen BEZWEN OU! God, I need you!