I have been thinking about Mary Lee’s trip to Haiti with Compassion Canada last year. As I was preparing for this service, I was thinking about what she was going to say, about the additions that Jane would make, about the sad anthem that the choir is going to share, and about the displays that Church and Society has created for coffee time to show us agencies that support children in poor countries. All of it made me feel so sad. You know, I do not like to feel sad. I am a happy person and I like to try to find happiness to focus on instead of so much sadness.
So, I went to the library! The library makes me happy. I found a few books there about kids living in Haiti. Some of the books I read had very sad parts about kids who were hungry, thirsty, sick or alone, but most of them had a common theme…
Selavi, That is Life is a book about kids living on the streets who find help at a local church. Hope for Haiti is about a boy who has lost his home and much of his family, but finds joy playing soccer with other kids who live in huts nearby. But this one was my favourite: A Handful of Seeds. It is about a little girl who, when her grandmother died, was homeless. She walked into the city with only a handful of seeds from that garden that they used to keep together. Maybe something like this. Imagine this small handful of seeds is all the food you have in the world. Do you think that it is enough for you to eat for even one day?
The conditions in Haiti are a lot like that. The girl was alone and hungry; she struggled every day to stay alive, to keep her stomach full and to keep positive despite all her troubles. But the girl in the story had her seeds and the lessons that her grandma taught her about keeping a garden. She found hope in that. Hope that things would get better, that her garden would grow, and that the plants would give her more seeds to plant again the next season.
Thank you, Mary Lee, for telling us of your experiences in Haiti. Thank you for helping us see the troubles that the children there face, but also the joy that can be found in a church family, a soccer ball, or a small handful of seeds.