“He who shuts his ear to the poor man’s cry shall himself plead and not be heard.” Proverbs 21:13 – The Jerusalem Bible
The inscription on the Haitian bell says: “No one listens to the cry of the poor or the sound of a wooden bell.” It is inviting you to join the Faith and Money Network small group traveling to Haiti on November 16th and returning November 23rd. While Haiti may not be high on your list of places to vacation, this trip has the potential to add so many layers of rich meaning to your life that in years to come you may look back and think of your life as before and after Haiti.
I speak from experience. Not because I have been to Haiti, but because the Faith and Money Network trip my husband and I took to Palestine had an extraordinary impact on us. It opened our eyes to what it means to be marginalized. We regard it as one of the most important experiences of our lives, influencing our understanding of generosity and how we are called to care for others.
Though Haiti lies only a few hundred miles off the coast of the U.S., in many respects it is a world away. The latest statistics show that 59% of the population lives below the national poverty rate of US $2.41 per day and 24% fall below the national extreme poverty rate of US $1.23 per day. Despite many efforts to change that over the years and the fact that some progress has been made, it remains the poorest country in the Americas. No wonder food insecurity is a major problem there.
You will be introduced to as many of the gracious residents of this beautiful little country as possible to help you understand what it means to live on the edge, as well as how their experiences relate to yours. While you will be exposed to what it means to live in material poverty, you will also encounter hope and will discover abundance in what looks like scarcity.
Additional information about the trip is available on the Faith and Money Network home page. The trip will provide an opportunity for personal growth unlike anything you’ve experienced before.
The lesson from Proverbs says, “He who shuts his ear to the poor man’s cry shall himself plead and not be heard.”
Blessings on your efforts to hear the wooden bell and respond to the cry of the poor.