Reflections from Greg Ackerson

This post is from Greg Ackerson (WWV supporter and board member) who recently spent two weeks in Haiti on a mission trip with his church.

“During the day, there was one little girl that spent a fair amount of time with me, holding my hand and sitting in my lap as often as she could. Her name was Milanta. Since school wasn’t in session, there was no lunch for any of us. The kids spent all day with us with nothing to eat or drink. We were drinking a lot of water because we were sweating so much, and we had snacks with us to eat. So over the course of the day I drank 3 quarts of water and ate a little bit of beef jerky and one granola bar, while the kids didn’t get anything to eat.

Towards the end of the day, at about 2:00 PM, Milanta told me, in the little bit of English she knew, that she was hungry. I had to tell her “no.”  That I couldn’t help her, I didn’t have anything to feed her.  Then about 15 minutes later she told me again that she was hungry. After telling her “no” again, I remembered that I had one extra granola bar in my pocket. So I took her around the corner where there weren’t any other kids around. There were about 30 kids with us, and I didn’t have enough to feed all of them. So I took one of the granola bars out of the Nature Valley pack, thinking that I would give her one bar, and then find another kid to give the other bar to.
As soon as I gave her the granola bar, she called to one of her friends and broke the bar in two and shared what little she had with her friend. Here was a little girl that had not eaten anything all day. She must have been starving, and yet the very first thing she did was take the very little that she had, and shared with another person who didn’t have anything.

Why is it that I continually need to be taught what generosity is by those who have nothing? Why is it that every time I come to Haiti I am convicted? Why is it that I meet people who are more generous in their scarcity than I am in my abundance?

People ask me why I keep going back to Haiti. Part of the reason I keep going back is that I experience spiritual growth every time I come. Part of the reason is that the people I come with are all on their own spiritual journey, and yet they all experience a little spiritual growth and move forward a little bit on their own journey and path. Part of the reason is that I am so easily seduced by our American culture and the consumerism that surrounds us in our daily American lives. Haiti helps to combat those messages and helps me to reset my generosity meter. It helps me to remember what is important. It helps me to remember that when Christ talks about rich people, and how hard it is for them to enter the kingdom of God, that He is not talking about some ancient, selfish, rich, powerful person, He is talking about me…..

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