I first learned about “island time” when I was in high school on a mission trip to the Florida Keys. We were sharing the gospel with Spring Breakers on the strip at night but also had several service projects during the day… service projects that never started on time.
Little did I know that that mission trip would prepare me for my next one 9 years later.
One of the biggest adjustments our team had while in Haiti was just learning to go with the flow. Here in the states we are slaves to the clock. We must be here by this time, finish this project by this date, cook 30 minute meals so that we can use the most of the precious minutes we were given. We read books about time management. Heck, you can even put time management on a resume. However, in Haiti time is relative. If you don’t finish today, you can always finish tomorrow. Some of this may be due to the fact that most of the population is not employed because their economy is still considered underdeveloped, however I saw many, many people doing what really makes a difference–they were serving others, spending time with their families, and teaching their children.
Now, please don’t interpret this as the folks of Haiti don’t want to work. They are some of the hardest working people I know and DESPERATELY want to work so that they can provide for their families. However the lack of opportunities and the troubled government hinders job development.
My point is that how often do we as Americans stop to genuinely see about our neighbors? How often do we spend time in the word? Or do we instead choose to indulge in the latest entertainment? (I’m guilty–I counted my DVDs Sunday and was ashamed at how much money we had spent on mindless entertainment. We could have provided livestock and rice to several families in Haiti.)
My hope is that the Lord continually helps me to use my time well. I also ask that you join with us in praying for a vehicle for the mission in Haiti. This will help us be independent when in the country. Some of our time issues last week were due to us waiting on a truck or driver.
Stay tuned for more updates!
PS–I’m not sure how they got this bull and the sows in or out of this truck. Next time, we’ll be talking about agriculture in Haiti!