I asked our drivers/translators this question and some of their answers were...
Haiti's greatest need is for the Savior! No matter where you were born, what kind of house you live in, who your parents are, everyone's greatest need is for the Savior of the World to grant them access into the kingdom of Heaven. As Christians, we have accepted this free gift of grace, now we are asked in Matthew 28 to Go into the world and tell others of this Great News! Our job is not just to "pay the bills," to socialize with friends, or work on self-improvement but rather we have a greater calling to tell others about the love and benefits that come with a relationship with Jesus Christ. The Christian life is not an easy life but a fulfilling life. Personally I know that I would rather be exhausted by the end of the day doing God's will than relaxed pursuing my own pleasures.
Acknowleding Haiti's need for a Savior and that as one works to be the hands and feet of Christ in Haiti we also know that Haiti is in need of more opportunities.
Education is taken for granted by so many that some look at it as a right and not a privilege. However I have witnessed enough mama's beg for money to pay for their children's school, children willing to wash car windows to help supplement school costs, and young kids that grow up in a tent cite that already as a toddler and elementary aged kid understand they will never be apart of the 50% of kids in Haiti that actually do go to school.1*http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-2748-haiti-education-only-50-of-children-attend-school.html
True orphans is a phrase I learned while living in Haiti. True orphans? aren't all orphans..true orphans? This name has been placed on children that are living while both their father and their mother have passed away. Often times in Haiti orphanages are filled with kids that have parents but the parents are not able to financially support their child, these kids are sent to an orphanage.
Financially Supporting a family anywhere in the world is a difficult task. One that seems even more difficult when the jobs are so scarce. In 2010 the unemployment rate was 40.6%. With 10.41 million people living in Haiti that means over 4 million people are without jobs on this small island of Haiti.*2 http://www.tradingeconomics.com/haiti/unemployment-rate Personally I think these numbers are lower than reality and I believe the unemployment rate is really quite higher. Now if those that can't find a job actually do find a job, is that a game changer for the whole family? Not necessarily. Unfortunately in Haiti there are quite a few issues regarding paying a fair wage. Factory workers are often part of those that work long hours with little pay.*3 http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/05/09/4108244/haiti-raises-minimum-wage-for.html I want to mention this is not one side is right and one side is wrong type of issue; I think there are many factors but one thing I always want to be aware of is my own personal responsibility.
Am I doing my job in the best way? Am I glorifying God? Colossians 3:23 says that whatever we do (our job, hobbies, recreation, family/friends, house...) we are to work at it with all of our heart as working for the Lord and not for man.
"the single biggest challenge we’re facing right now is finding people who are willing to retool, retrain, reboot and learn a truly useful skill from the ground up — and work, show up early, stay late and work."*4http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/04/29/mike-rowe-tells-members-of-congress-why-hed-never-do-a-dirty-jobs-episode-about-them/ Mike Rowe is speaking to America but I believe also this applies to those in Haiti. From an employer's perspective I know that when quality work happens day in and day out it does not go unnoticed, rather it puts employees in the running for rewards and advancement.
I believe if we are able to provide more jobs and create a better education learning experience for children then issues related to lack of food will no longer be such a need. Once we walk along side others to pick themselves up we can empower people to make wise decisions and to own the consequences of their decisions. Living in Haiti in many ways is very different than the states but I am learning that it is also very similar. Daily God continues to show me what his expectations are of me. One of my favorite verses is Micah 6:8 "And what does the Lord require of you? To Act Justly, To Love Mercy and To walk humbly before your God." That is what He wants from me, to be fair and just with those I come into contact with, to love and thrive on mercy with others and overall humbly allow God to work and mold me into the woman He's creating me to be.
My Greatest need is Jesus and I am reminded daily that without him I can do nothing. However, because of the Holy Spirit that lives within me He is able to do more than I can immeasurably imagine. To know that the Creator of the universe hears the prayers from my heart, the prayers of a mama wanting to send her children to school, for a father that wants to work with dignity or even the prayer of a young child that yearns for food to fill his belly--the fact that all of these prayers are answered by a Justful, Merciful and Soverign Savior that gives me hope for the future and peace for today.