Dear Kenson,

Sorry, I was one of the many people who appeared in your life and disappeared just as quickly. Every summer us Americans pour into your country to sing songs, tell stories and then leave full of pride in our job well done. They leave you over and over again taking just a little bit of stability away every single time. We take pictures, and we return to our comfort and our lavish lifestyles in comparison.

I remember though the at the end of my two-week stay, you and your classmates sang a song. You kept staring at me from the front of the room. You were determined to make sure I was paying attention, and I was. I gave you every ounce of attention.

I remember handing you my journal, and I showed you how to write some words, and you showed me how you write your name.

We fought the language barrier that limited us, but it greatly diminished our ability to communicate. After you finished singing, you came back to your seat near me, and you began talking in Haitian Creole. All I could do was smile, and shake my head, even though I wanted to tell you that you did a great job.

I learned something during that moment. I learned that I have a talent with language and with words, but that talent is worthless in a foreign country where my words have no meaning.

I learned that two weeks in a country with a bad government and a population who struggles and sacrifices doesn’t change anything. Haiti hosts over 10,000 NGOs and yet the country has made little progress to rebuild after the devastating earthquake destroyed everything in 2010.

Finally, I learned that I let you down in the same way many American’s and other foreigners let you down every single year. That being said, there were many individuals, giving you stability, living with you through the tough times and giving you hope for a better future. Those people are doing the hard work, and it is better if I support them, because they know you, they know your language, and they can fight for change and progress in a way that I cannot.

All I can do is pray, that others find a way to help you more than I could. I know you will never see this, and you probably think I forgot you like so many do, but I have not. I wish you the best, and I hope you can overcome the many odds that are not in your favor.


The short-term missionary

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