My life

My life
I am truly Blessed

Friday, August 26, 2011

Too late for a second chance.

Life is Real. Sometimes its hard to see it living in the United States, at least for me. Everything is so protected and careful. We are quite an advanced society, so much to the point that people focus more on the future rather than the present, and survival. Haiti is much different. Here people are concerned about the NOW, and how are we going to eat NOW, and where am i going to sleep right NOW. Very few people here are worried about retirement or about Grad School.

Haiti is also different in the aspect that over 80% of the population lives in abject poverty. This causes alot of begging, begging that can seem bothersome to someone who is not used to it, and even to those who are used to it.

My first trip to Haiti was around a year ago. It was a short term mission trip. When we first landed in Port Au Prince, i saw poverty and chaos like i had never seen before, or even imagined. It was shocking to say the least. People bombarding you, begging for a dollar. Knowing no English but "Give me Dollar". It can take your breath away seeing people giving up all social etiquette, all social respect, and begging literally for survival.

After coming back to Haiti a few months later, to live full time, i have experienced this culture shock many times. Ive been subjected to these individuals many times, multiple times a day. I didnt notice it, but that initial "Wow, i need to give these people everything i have" kind of went away. It was replaced with a feeling of "well there is someone who needs it more than you, and if i give it to you ill have to give it to everyone" kind of feeling. Dont get me wrong, I still give, I still donate, and I still live in Haiti to serve the kids and the people here, but that initial feeling is gone.

Jesus calls us to give when asked. In the book of Luke 6:30 He says the words "Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back". These words are hard to swallow. This means i have to give to whoever asks me, even if i dont "think" they need it. It doesnt say "use your discretion, and give when you really feel like the person needs it". It says "give to whoever asks". I have somehow forgotten this, or never really learned it in the first place.

Its really easy to give when i know i have another at home. Its really easy to give when i know ill get another soon, or i can easily afford another. Its hard to give when i know im going to be empty handed afterwards. I think this is why God/Jesus teaches us to separate ourselves from materialism. "Dont love the world". I have found that i have gotten a bit of self-righteousness from living in a third world country serving. When someone asks me for something i get that feeling of "well dont you see i live here too?", "what makes you think i have money?". This may be the case, but i sure have alot more than them. I could sell my ipod and give it away, i could get rid of all my clothes except for one pair and wash them everyday like i see many Haitians doing. But i dont, because im selfish. Not yet.

The reason i have talked about all of this is because of a recent event, that has turned into a monumental re-learning experience for me.

One of our wash ladies (We will call her Mary) has asked me multiple times in the last week for me to give her money, or fill her prescription. I told her i cant because she has a job, and if i give it to her than i will have to give it to all the workers. I am asked practically every day for such things, and when i feel as though i can afford it i give, but only when i can afford it. I also make it a point to give to people who dont work for us, and who i know doesnt have a job. Ive had this belief that i need to give to those who dont have a job, because i know that the people who work for us are getting a paycheck. A paycheck that wouldnt last a day in the United States.

Today i was approached by a fellow missionary who informed me that Mary went home early today. She heard news that her daughter was sick. The daughter is five years old, and was being watched by the neighbor, there is no father. She actually lives in a Kou*, which is a bunch of huts or tents in a small area. This Kou was comprised of only women and their children and it is located 500 feet from our compound. When Mary reached her small shed like home, she found her daughter dead.

Josue (our Haitian spiritual advisor) and myself went to her Kou to talk with her and figure out the situation. The child was certainly dead, and looked peaceful. When i asked how she died, the mother responded "I didnt have her medicine, i have been trying to get money to get her prescriptions filled." I almost threw up. I realized i had had an indirect reason for this girl dying, all because i didnt follow command in Luke 6:30. Because i felt that she made enough money to buy medication, and because i didnt feel like dealing with the 50 other employees that would ask me for money, i told her no. I let down the "least of these".

I prayed for the girl, and the mother. I asked her what i could do at this point. She needed money for the funeral. No problem, i gave her all i had. Trying to make up for the sin that had passed. I think back to James 4:17 and cringe. How many times have i killed people with the word "No", or "i cant". Never again. Im going to give when asked because now i really know its life or death. I also gave her a bible and told her that i would be praying for her, and i also ask that anyone reading this pray for her too.

I know everything happens for a reason. I know God can pull the good out of bad, and i know that this little girls spirit is in Heaven. I pray that i have really learned my lesson this time, and i pray that God does what it takes to allow me to say "Yes" to anyone when they ask, even if that means im going to give the shirt off my back.

Lets all start caring for others more than ourselves, and see what happens.


  1. Cameron you are an amazing guy, I hope you know that people are looking up to you. Although you may feel the need to constantly work on yourself many others think you are much more selfless than 99% of other people! Every now and then pause on your self critisizing and remember how great you really are.

  2. cam you have helped so many people in the time you have spent in Haiti and I know they are all very thankful for you. I look at what you've done and can't believe how far you have come with your self. I truly believe everything happens for a reason, you cross paths with so many people for so many reasons and help them in ways you could never imagine. keep being yourself cam, because to me and to so many others, you are doing a wonderful thing with your life.

  3. Cam, man this is hard to read. I can feel the pain in your words. Know that I'm there with you in prayer and that I'm praying for the wash lady also. God is good and he will use this for good. Based off of the time we've spent together in Haiti this definitely hits a nerve in my own heart. You've taught me something tonight and I thank you for it. God is speaking through your actions and your words. Don't let guilt creep in bro! Guilt is from the Enemy. Conviction come from the Father and it is there to move us to a better place. It is meant to lift us up not bring us down. Be encouraged that if there is sin there that it is already gone, washed white as snow. Now go in peace and love like it's your job, because it pretty much is...ha! Love you bro!!