Calories & Haiti…

October 13, 2009 at 8:05 pm (Uncategorized)

I have begun paying attention to how many calories I take in everyday. Although I am all about authenticity, I cannot bring myself to admit how many calories I was taking in everyday.  (By the way, I was inspired to pay attention by a friend. Thanks, Sean.)  Anyway, my new awareness has brought a few changes.  It also reminded me of a story from my previous trip to Haiti.

We didn’t like to take breaks in Haiti.  At Christianville, in the mornings we taught and connected with local church leaders.  After lunch we either went to visit and encourage the mission stations (medical, dental, school, etc) or did odd jobs around the place.  One fella loved mowing, so he mowed. He noticed, and pointed out later, that many of the Haitians working out there alongside him took frequent breaks.  It irritated him, and me.  It seemed like laziness.  We didn’t mind busting our tails to help, but we didn’t like them slacking off.

Our group leader, with 20+ years of Haiti experience, explained the situation, which broke us down.  You see, most of these Haitians didn’t get very much food in a day, and in turn not many calories.  My physical science lessons were refreshed in my mind, and I remembered that calories were a measurement unit of energy.  The body is designed to take in energy through calories (mostly in food), and use that energy with activity.  These Haitians weren’t taking in enough calories daily to perform a day’s work. And here we were, overweight American preachers. (Calories unused become, you guessed it, FAT!)

I read a quote recently that went something like this:  “The poor in the world see us as having a feast, serving cake and eating it too, and inviting them only to tea time and THEN asking them to split the bill.”  I don’t quote this as a political, policy, or any other kind of statement, except to say that my heart is broken over my excess in the midst of their want.

Jesus said: “Whenever you failed to do one of these things [feed hungry, water thirsty, visit outcast, etc] to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.” (Matt 25:45 MSG)

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1 Comment

  1. Sean McCarthy said,

    Great blog bro. It’s true, we in America see our abundance of food as our “right” and that this is just the way things are… it’s sad.

    As far as calorie intake when I started taking it seriously I realized I was taking in about 4,000 calories a day. I read an article that said that now a days the average American takes in between 3,000 – 5,500 calories a day.

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