Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.
Taking a break from all your worries should would help a lot.
Wouldn’t you like to get away?
Sometimes you want to go-
Where everybody knows your name, and you’re always glad you came.
You want to be where people see, troubles are all the same
You want to be where everybody knows your name.
I’m taking a risk here that you recognize this old song, it’s the theme song from a classic 80’s sitcom…Cheers!
Several years ago my dear friend Amy and I were walking down Hydrolique, a road near our Haiti home. We were talking about things to do, dreams, money, and all the big things when a little boy jumped down from his front porch and ran towards us. He was smiling big and waving his arms, “Miss Ameee, Miss Nee-ko”. We gave him a high five and kept walking- it wasn’t long until we found another fan. This time it was a teen that we had known for years, just stopping to say high to Am-eee and Nee-ko. Amy glanced at me and started singing… “Where everybody knows your name, and you’re always glad you came.”
You may think that it is just the theme from Cheers, but to us it is our Haiti theme. There is a lot of talk right now about poverty tourism and the harm of short term missions. Traveling to Haiti with Hut Outreach is like being invited to a big family’s house for Thanksgiving. You aren’t trying to create a family, it’s already there, you are simply joining in. It’s been nearly two decades since I first walked these dusty, rocky streets in Les Cayes, Haiti. Most of my adult life I have been a Haiti traveler. I have had the honor of introducing many people- hundreds – to Haiti. I’ve become bold in how I represent the trips though. “You will get more than you could ever give.” It’s true- if you go with an open heart you will learn, you will be changed. But please don’t go to Haiti for the wrong reasons. Don’t go to save them. Only Jesus can save them. Don’t go to teach them a better way unless you are an expert in something and willing to learn first, then speak. Don’t go to become grateful for what you have. Work on your gratitude at home first.
So, why go to Haiti? Go to learn. Go to see. Go to get out of your comfort zone and experience life in a new way. Go to fill a need that a Haitian cannot. Go to make new friends in another culture. Go to love babies and kids, to serve them food and give them hugs and smiles. Go to support new mothers in parenting and breastfeeding. Go to share your stories of encouragement.
Go to Haiti because it’s better than going to a bar! “Where everybody knows your name, and you’re always glad you came.”