I find myself in the evening light at La Piste, an old airfield, very near Surpiste, "the runway", which I had known from the 2010 post-earthquake days as the site of one of the largest displacement camps.
The humanitarian community finds itself looking inward as it confronts twenty-first century emergencies. Some of the old guard worry that the explosive growth of relief and development organizations is diminishing their efficiency and effectiveness and in some cases politicizing aid.
We tend to focus on what is wrong with relief and aid, and in some cases it is justified. But it is time we recognize the people who are dedicating their lives, long after the world has moved on, to chipping away at the work that remains to be done in Haiti.
It's difficult, if not impossible, to fully understand something without experiencing it firsthand. This is true in business, life and love. Last week, I had a humbling experience on a trip to Haiti that reminded me of the importance of experience.
It is easy to believe in what we are doing. We are in the midst of training our staff to collect data as we monitor and evaluate our strategies to create change for the orphans and at-risk youngsters in Kenscoff.
While the Haitian people have proven to be incredibly resilient, there remains a great need for the tools and early warnings that Americans take for granted when dangerous conditions threaten lives and livelihoods.
Many have expressed pessimism about the disparity between Haiti's slow reconstruction and the billions of dollars spent in and promised to the country. I have witnessed firsthand how projects can make a tremendous impact if the work is implemented with local actors on the ground.
Despite billions in aid that were supposed to go to the Haitian people, hundreds of thousands are still homeless, living in shanty tent camps as the effects from the earthquake of Jan. 12, 2010, remain.
The preservation of the dignity of Haitian farmers wasn't merely a relief and recovery effort. It was a chance for Presbyterians to meet the responsibility God has given all of us to care for God's people in a way that is life affirming and empowering.