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  • Laura MacNeil Smith

We Can't Stay Home

Updated: Feb 17, 2021

They tell us to stay home, but we can’t.

At home there is no food, no electricity & no money.

Houses are a few bedrooms shared with relatives, often part of a larger yard shared by many other families. Or it’s houses built upon houses built upon houses straight up the hillside as far as the eye can see.

It’s difficult to find distance when community living is all we’ve ever known.

Wake up, go to work, make enough money to feed your family for the day and start again tomorrow.

When you live day by day, it’s impossible to get ahead.

Most work is found on the street as “marchands” selling goods and fruits and vegetables in the marketplace or as motorcycle taxis and tap tap drivers. Your entire livelihood is dependent on others. There is no such thing as job security, there is no unemployment to collect.

Life can’t stop.

Stopping is a slower, different kind of death.

The North American government is able to provide paid leave and stimulus checks. Our government hasn’t given us electricity for the past 2 weeks.

Most transportation is public. Traveling anywhere usually means sitting in the back of a truck cab with ten other people or holding on tight to your motorcycle driver as he weaves in and out of traffic.

Uncertainty hangs in the air.

We all know the hospitals often aren’t well prepared to handle healthcare crises, let alone something of this magnitude.

The resiliency of this country and her people are a beautiful thing. We do what we can and carry on through the hardship just like we have before through disease and natural disasters and political upheaval.

We hope and pray and plead with the Lord to spare Haiti.


This is the reality for most people in Haiti and other third world countries. The current feeling of uneasiness is often the norm outside of the Western world because so many factors of life are completely out of your control. For those who don’t have access to things like a fridge full of food, consistent electricity or reliable healthcare, before the weight of life was challenging. Now, it’s crushing. It’s all to easy to take things for granted. Even in the middle of our own struggles, we have countless privileges that others around the world don’t. And it’s not to diminish the hardship of what we’re facing but a call to gratitude for what we do have and prayer for those that don’t.

Even if life doesn’t look like we want it to in this season, I will continue to press on with the words of Isaiah 58 on my heart:

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?

Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.”


A small way The CAMP would like to help at this time is to be able to provide 200 reusable cloth face masks for the neighbors and families in our community. These masks cost about $1 each and are made locally here in Haiti. If you would like to help meet this need, donate at:

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