This article was originally published by The Mennonite

Professional saviors


I open your letter
thanking me
for my financial and prayer support.
I did neither.
Your weeklong trip to Haiti
changed your life.
Your group’s theme verse
Hebrews 11 verse 1
faith in everything.
You built a clinic,
a house, a church
played ball with the natives
smiles substituting for language
ate rice and beans
three times a day.

No I did not pray for you.
And I know I haven’t prayed either
for the women dressed bright
weaving new patterns
the toothless men
thrashing sugar cane
or those who make their living
getting saved
for earthly bread
singing hymns in the fields
when a mission group drives

I’ve heard Haiti has had more missionaries
than any other country.
Maybe the missionaries
are keeping them poor
so we in our churches in the States
can all feel good
taping pictures on our bulletin boards
dropping money in offering plates
for those who board planes
reviewing their plans
passing that feeling on to their kids
who years later
they hope
will go on a mission trip
just like theirs.

Cheryl Denise lives in Philippi, W.V.

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