Wednesday, January 2, 2013

An Open Letter To Jamie

I just read your most recent post about your trip to Haiti, and I have few questions for you.  Some of it may seem snarky, but please do not take it that way, as that is not my intent.  I am just asking & saying what I feel should be asked & said.

Why did you bring make-up & jewelry on a trip to a place you knew was impoverished?

You spend a hundred words saying how much you wanted to give those poor people help in the form of material things and followed it up immediately with the statement that material things don't matter.  Do you see what I see there?

We’ll serve the poorest of the poor in Haiti, restoring homes and hope to people who lost both to the 2010 earthquake. Our team will also distribute food to the hungry, showing the people that the love of Jesus is real, and demonstrating his compassion.
I'm not clear on why the part I highlighted red is necessary.  You can't eat Jesus, no matter what the Catholics say.  I especially wonder about that part because as I scrolled up and read further into this blog, I saw plenty of talk about Jesus and God, but I found references to home restoration severely lacking.

What kind of home restoration did you do?  How much time did you spend working to improve their living conditions to the amount of time spent on the Vacation Bible School I saw mentioned repeatedly?

I've been atheist my whole life, but I was in a church youth group as a teen.  We did annual trips and called  them "mission trips", but we made zero attempts to convert or preach. We worked our asses off all year to pay for it. Then we spent a week fixing houses in impoverished areas.  I specifically remember spending a day in Tennessee Summer heat replacing the siding on the house of a sweet, elderly woman.  I also remember replacing her air conditioner.  I will never forget the smell of the meat that rotted in her freezer.

Someone probably mentioned God at some point on that trip.  Most of the group was Christian, after all.  But it was seldom enough that I barely noticed.  When we got back, the only pictures we had were of us working hard on the house.  The only Bibles we had with us were whatever personal Bibles people had with them.

I hope you treated your trip similarly to how the Christians I knew treated our trips.  Maybe the pictures of the home construction just haven't been posted yet.  I certainly hope that's the case.  I would love to see them.

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