As I rubbed my belly and said, “Are you hungry”, Tines, a 17-year old boy in Balan, Haiti said, “I’m hungry too.” He had misunderstood what I was asking and thought I was saying that “I” was hungry.
You hear about those without food on TV, you read about it in magazines, you are told statistics like 25,000 people die of hunger or hunger related causes every day and that hunger is linked to more than half of child deaths worldwide, but do we really understand it?
As I spent time in the village of Balan I didn’t see food (other than the snacks we brought for ourselves) but the overwhelming JOY that the people of Balan had made you somewhat overlook the fact that there was no food for them to eat.
I knew that there was no food there because I heard there wasn’t and because I saw firsthand that there wasn’t, but I did not fully understand the reality of what that meant. The words that followed my conversation with this young man Tines did and forever have changed my life.
Our conversation continued as I asked him if he had eaten lunch. He shook his head no. I then proceeded to ask him if he had eaten anything today and he said no. I could not control my emotions long enough to ask him when the last time was that he had eaten. I had to run from his presence as I wept uncontrollably.
I could not fathom leaving this village, as it was our last day there, without giving these precious children who had hung out with us for 3 days something to eat. I went to my bag and grabbed all the snacks that I had brought for myself and as the children sat in a line on the sidewalk and reached out their hands to me I handed them 2 nuts and one cracker. Their response was, “Merci Me’ Chell (Thank you Michelle).”
Matthew 4:4 says, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” God provided the Israelites manna so that He could reveal Himself to them in a spiritual way. Likewise, we must bring food to Balan so that the people can see the Glory of the Lord.
Tines has no idea what his words have done. Because of him I am committed to do what I can to bring food to these people. It cost $40 for a 50lb bag of rice and $40 for a 50lb bag of beans and these items can purchased within a few miles of the village. Why are these people going hungry???? There is no excuse good enough for me.