they dream dreams like we do

by 8/04/2015 0 comments
It’s hard to invest in to something you can’t see. 
We start our week off with a groan and squinty eyes as our 6:00 AM alarm screams in our ears. We hit snooze and yearn the usual “5 more minutes?!”.  Oh no! Those 5 minutes turn into an hour and we are racing out the door with one shoe on and the other off because school starts in 10 minutes or there is that 8:00AM meeting in 5 minutes and traffic will take 30 minutes to get through on a good day. But it’s Monday right? So our chances are slim and we are rolling in the building late once again.  Our lives are packed full of hustle and bustle. We become intent on completing our to-do lists and filling in our planners that all we can see is what’s right in front of us. Life get’s messy and blurry for all of us. We struggle with broken relationships and family drama that cripples us and leaves us shaken and confused. So when organizations like S.A.V.E. ask you to donate to people that you don’t know and have no relevance to you, the easy answer is “maybe I’ll donate another time…” .
But what if I told you that you do know them and they do have relevance?
Here is a story of a beautiful Haitian girl named Esther:
“Esther, every time I think of her I think of her beautiful smile and her striking eyes who has seen too much at the young age of twelve.  In a world with little to be excited about she never failed to put smiles on every person she encounters.  I met her and she was standing off alone, watching the world around her.  She was very attentive to her surroundings and the people that encompassed her.  I came up to her and even though she came off as a shy girl with little emotion, I could see behind her frown and know that she had a spunk about her that no one ever got close enough to see.  She sat off alone not because she didn’t want to be talked to, but quite the opposite.  She wanted someone to devote their time to her, to play with her hair, to laugh with, to share life with.  All little, sweet Esther wanted was love.  after a couple days of spending time with her, she began to open up and become the girl she secretly always wanted to be.  I slowly started to see parts of her personality that i wasn’t sure anyone had seen before.  No longer was she the reserved, moody girl I met but a spunky, gracious and loving girl who was so willing to share her big heart with anyone who would listen. Esther changed the way I look at people.  She taught me patience and grace.  She taught me that eyes truly were the window to the soul, but not only that but you have to look long enough to notice, to devote your precious time solely on the person you are standing in front of, with no distractions.  “
– Madison Bivins, Former S.A.V.E. board member
Esther was shy and quiet at a first impression but all she really needed was someone to love and believe in her to give her the bravery of being her true self. Does that sound familiar? I struggle with being my complete and authentic self with other people. I draw back and let a quietness take over me when I feel uncomfortable and insecure. I forget that I am beautiful, loved and fun to be around. My friends build me up into the person I am made to be and without their unconditional love, I would give into the lies of the shy girl more often.
Too often we see the  people of Haiti as a statistic. We see them as big group of poverty stricken people without a face and blindly forget that a big group of people are always made up of individuals. Each one of those individuals acquire a face.  And when you look deep into one persons dazzling, dark eyes, you discover they are just like you. That person has a story that began with ” For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. ” -Psalm 139:13 and then the narrative begins to pour out like a clear but muddy stream taking twists and turns through fresh vividly wild colors of plant life to bumpy rocks with a dark shadow looming over top.  They experience messy beautiful life just like we do. They dream up dreams of things they are passionate about. They experience death and grief sleepless nights and they have families whom they would give their lives for if they had to just like you would. The good, the bad, and the ugly doesn’t just happen to us. It’s happening right this very instance to a bright eyed little girl in Haiti named Esther or a boy full of dreams in Africa. Let’s be less location centered and more people centered.
S.A.V.E. is currently made up of 11 teenagers who have been called to love other kids, teenagers, adults, and elderly in Boukeron, Haiti that have needs just like ours. They need a roof to protect their heads in the rain, clean water to cool off with after a hot day, a latrine to safely and comfortably use the bathroom in, and other necessities that we take for granted every day.
Jesus told us to treat our neighbor the way we wanted to be treated. I don’t know about you, but a roof and clean water is something I need and enjoy.  I also need love and affection and the assurance that there are people for me, not against me. Haiti is our neighbor and Jesus asks us to love our neighbors, so will you help us love them too?
So next time when you hear statistics of heart-breaking poverty, lack of basic medical attention, etc, remember that the statistic holds a group of people and that group of people contains a single person with a story that might just change everything.

-Raegan Jackson


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