“Eventually we heard the story behind these villages. Many of the people had walked over from Haiti (it was over three hundred miles just to the Haiti border). If they had come from Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capitol, they’d probably walked closer to five hundred miles. They came to the Dominican Republic to escape the severe poverty of their own country. Here they could make two dollars a day and have at least a little bit of food to eat.
Even so, it was a difficult, almost impossible life. Frequently, villages did not have water. To obtain water for drinking and cooking, they often had to walk five to seven miles one way, fill their containers, and return all those miles carrying their heavy burden, every day.
They had very little food. The men usually ate one meal every two days. One out of five children starved to death by the time they were four years old. And they lived in deplorable conditions. Most families lived in one room, with a hole in the middle of the floor for a bathroom, which emptied outside into the sugar cane fields.
Our hearts were broken when we saw the conditions of the sugarcane villages and the people who lived in them. Although the Haitians were happy we were there, they had no hope for he future. It was a very humbling experience and God used the poverty to change many American’s hearts and lives. As we spent nearly a week at each project site and became good friends with the villagers, we built relationships without know how God was going to use them. But now years later, we see His hand in it all. For instead of working in Dominican towns, we now focus our ministry on the sugar cane villages that lie within about a forty-five mile radius of our headquarters in Hato Mayor.” -A Journey with God by Jim McDonald, a book about the founding of MGM
In the years since MGM started working in the sugarcane villages, some villages have improved drastically gaining plumbing and electricity while others still resemble the image that Jim painted above.
Also, for the boy who was in the motorcycle accident and shattered his femur that I mentioned in my last post, we collected $900 (over double what we needed) and he will be recieving surgery on Friday! The extra money will be used for his rehabilitation after surgery.