I heard that Haiti is now considered a "4th world country" due to the poverty here. Every building that we have been in is surrounded by tall cement fences to keep it separated from the outside street environment. Once you leave the walled area that you are in, you encounter a much different picture of life. Piles of rubble and garbage and street vendors selling many different items. Skinny baby pigs, chickens, goats and you name it running in the streets. Today outside the orphanage they were burning large piles of garbage that left a wonderful odor in the air.
The people here are beautiful and friendly and the children in the orphanage definitely work their way into your heart! They LOVE attention and literally try to climb up our legs to get us to hold them.
There is great poverty here, but it hit me at the service today that the people who were worshiping there were so alive. They know what it is to have desperate need and they obviously fill that need with the Lord. So even though they are "empty handed" from a material standpoint, they are certainly not without hope and joy.