Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Balan, Haiti with my son Parker and Father-in-Law Gary. I will be writing about this trip and sharing both pictures and videos over the next several weeks.
As I have returned home and got back into the groove of life, I am daily reminded of several images and stories. Here is one of my favorite memories (of God’s protection and provision) from my first trip to Haiti:
The Monday morning we traveled to Balan (a village about 45 minutes bumpy truck ride outside the Capital city of Port-Au-Prince) was much anticipated. I was so excited to “Kingdom Travel” with 3 generations (Grandfather, Father, Son) and with our new friend Rick McNary from Numana.
We were visiting a Salvation Army post that houses a school, a church and 3 other buildings inside of a fenced compound that probably covers about 3 acres of dry and dusty land. The Salvation Army had isolated Balan as “The area in Haiti in need of the most help.” Numana already had plans set in motion to feed the school children that attend the “Ecole Armee Du Salut Balan” school in the village. I wanted to tag along to see how I could help.
That morning, we had already visited one of the 45 Salvation Army Schools in Haiti, located in Port-Au-Prince. On our tour of the facility we found women cooking a meal for the children. The meal consisted of rice, sardines and black beans. This is oftentimes the only meal these children eat all day.
Once in Balan we understood why the comments from the Salvation Army about this village and their needs. There is no electricity and no water. We asked a few of the teachers what could be done to help the community and the school and most of the conversation revolved around water. I asked the silly question “What about food?” and received snickers from the teachers; it was almost a “Duh” response from them; “Food is THE BIGGEST issue!”
Next to the school is the kitchen where they USED TO prepare meals for the students.
This school USED TO have financial support from outside ministries.
This school USED TO feed their students. When they did they averaged 450 students, now they average 150.
This school USED TO have the funding and resources to provide these meals. Now, most of the children skip school to look for food with their families.
As we walked the dismal conditions of the post and walked into the kitchen with the tin roof creaking in the wind we came to the “stoves.” The stoves were concrete openings that you would build a fire under and then cook in a large bowl over the opening. The thing that immediately struck me was that this kitchen had not been used in a long-while and it was overgrown and in need to repair.
The stoves had been overgrown with thorns. I quickly regained hope while sweating and staring at these thorns…I realized that these weren’t just any thorns, these were His thorns and He was protecting His kitchen and His village for someone to come along and feed His people!
This image is burned so permanently in my mind.
Please consider teaming alongside Numana to help Feed His starving people.
See a few of the images from this post below and check back to see more from Balan!