Haiti Journal: Soul Food

Jun 11, 2009

In the words of my boys a few years back, I’m a good cooker. You name it, I can cook it. When you have all boys, sporting this skill is a major bonus. Honestly, I enjoy cooking for my family. Serving food is life-giving, and taking care of this basic need for the people I love makes me feel good.

Every day I’m in Haiti, I see the faces of parents who aren’t so lucky. Most Haitian women have, on average, 6 children. Often they raise them alone, without a father figure present to help. Most Haitians are lucky to eat one meal a day, and trying to find that one meal is a daily challenge. Hungry eyes look the same in Haiti as well as the U.S. or Africa. Chances are, if you’re reading this blog you don’t know what it’s like to be truly hungry. Even those of us who come on some hard times have access to food somewhere. Here? You’re on your own. If you find a single meal, it usually consists of something simple, like rice. No pot roast, mashed potatoes or green beans. Just a little bit of something to get by until you wake up tomorrow and need to start the whole process again. And remember, if you’re a mom, you trying to find that one meal for your six children as well.

I haven’t cooked this week, but yesterday and today I helped distribute a couple thousand pounds of rice to hungry children. After filling up empty pillow cases and grocery sacks, we prayed over each child, asking God to bless their life, reveal His plan, and reassure tender hearts of his infinite love. Out of all the meals I’ve served over the years, this was by far the most simple. And the one I’ll not soon forget.

I don’t know how to express to you the depth of need here. How do you describe something that most of us have never seen let alone comprehend? Seldom do we go without food for more than a few hours.

POVERTY IS ALL OF OUR PROBLEM. Not a Haitian problem or an Africa problem. We are brothers and sisters with those who are starving. Even though we have enough to eat, the fact that multitudes don’t should matter to us. I’m sorry if you’re offended by my bluntness. Hunger doesn’t have time for me to candy-coat the truth in an effort to be polite. WE ARE BLESSED. If you know you’re blessed and want to share your abundance, consider buying rice for the children of New Missions.

“If you spend yourself on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday.” ~ Isaiah 58:10


  1. Scott Schrader

    All! Have a safe ride back ! Looks like a VERY successful trip. I case you have not heard we have been having crazy wheather in CO. Mini tornados, hail, rain everyday this week. As I write, my personal home suffered substantial hail damage last night, but no one hurt! Thanks for the wonderful updates. We look forward to seeing Laura back next week with all the stories to tell! All the Best from Scott and the Arrow “Blunch” gang !

  2. Karen

    We often joke about our gourmet food bank. One would never guess, by looking at our bountiful table each night, that we are food bank shoppers. We are so fortunate!


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