It’s all too much to take in.
If I had $10,000 in my pocket we may have been able to meet most of the needs. The home was made of sheets of tin, tin that blew off other homes in Hurricane Matthew, garbage. They made a home out of garbage.
Then the woman, lying in bed, whose friend practically drug me into the home to see her. She wanted to pray. Yesterday she had a traumatic delivery of a premature baby. The baby died moments later. This, in itself was heartbreaking. But, there was more. The home had just enough room for the bed and a single shelf. The roof had multiple holes, the floor? uneven cement. The entirety of the families’ belongings would fit in just one of the small closets in my home.
We prayed and then covered her hospital costs, money that would take her months to pay off, possibly a year.
Then the handsome young man, politely yet insistently pleading for money for school. He looked 20 but told me he’s in eighth grade. He needs fifty dollars for his tuition.
The elderly man, sitting next to his shanty smiles when we hive him a bag of rice and beans. When we pass again the community leader asks to give him a second bag of food. I nod, of course. He says, “Because he is all alone and he suffers a lot.”
He suffers a lot.
And so much more. It’s all too much. But later, on the roof, the students discuss their thoughts about the day’s activities. They feel useless, helpless, as if they can’t do enough. As if the small gestures of kindness they are doing are meaningless.
I told the kids their gestures matter, the love they show these children matters, the small gifts, they matter. And perhaps there is a Haitian child who will never forget that one random Blan who did something nice for them.
Then I remember, and it’s all too much. I remember being a seven year old girl who needed pretty church shoes, with parents that couldn’t afford them at the time. I remember a friendly lady at church named Cathy taking me shopping for black patent leather shoes. This was nearly forty years ago, but of course I remember. I’ll never forget it, because she was so generous and kind.
Sometimes the smallest acts have the greatest impact, even when it’s all too much.
If you would like to be a part of Hut OUTREACH follow along on facebook and Instagram @hutoutreach. We are in Haiti right now and posting daily.