My sweet friend Marisa and her boyfriend Brian came to stay with Annabel and I over Thanksgiving this year. I was SO excited to show her around our little corner of Haiti and introduce her to the work that I am doing here. I asked Marisa to do a guest post about her time with us. I am a bit uncomfortable because her words are so incredibly sweet to me and give a lot of credit I feel unworthy of but she wrote it so beautifully I had to share…
Thank you Marisa, (and Brian!) for your sweet heart and your time loving Haiti with me. Can’t wait to have you back again soon!
“About a month ago I had the privilege to return to Haiti for my seventh time in 2 years. I had always gone to the same spot in Haiti, Leogane, because that is where I would leave a huge piece of my heart every time. It is perhaps even the place that had my whole heart for a period of time. But this time was going to be different. I was staying up in the mountains, a place I had never been. A place so beautiful I never knew existed. I was staying with my friend Rhyan who I had met in Leogane almost 2 years earlier. She lives up in these mountains with her 2 year old daughter Annabel, in a house that is perfect for the two. Rhyan’s history in Haiti goes way back further than mine, back before the earthquake in 2010. She is running a non-profit helping pregnant mothers and sick babies whos moms do not want to give them up for adoption, but almost have no other choice if they cannot get the proper care for their babies. This is where Rhyan steps in and through donations financially and through supplies she is able to nurse these beautiful babies back to health and provide their moms with the knowledge they need to keep these babies going strong. And because of this, another baby gets to stay with their mom. It is an incredible act of selflessness, time, and energy investing in people’s lives that you will probably never see again. Raising a stranger’s child like it is your own on a daily, monthly, yearly basis. Because the thing is, to make a difference in someone’s life you don’t have to be brilliant, rich, beautiful, or perfect. You just have to care. And I’m telling you, Rhyan cares.
And I don’t think I can phrase what my heart is trying to say any better than how Katie Davis puts it, “People who really want to make a difference in the world usually do it, in one way or another. And I’ve noticed something about people who make a difference in the world: They hold the unshakable conviction that individuals are extremely important, that every life matters. They get excited over one smile. They are willing to feed one stomach, educate one mind, and treat one wound. They aren’t determined to revolutionize the world all at once; they’re satisfied with small changes. Over time, though, the small changes add up. Sometimes they even transform cities and nations, and yes, the world.”
Rhyan may only be able to feed one mouth at a time. She may only be able to help one mom in the pregnancy program a month. But there is not a doubt in my mind that Rhyan holds the unshakable conviction that individuals are extremely important, that every life matters.
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
-Matthew 25: 37-40 “