But then I visited this beautiful place and realized I'd never been in a situation to experience joy the way the wonderful people of Haiti do. All my life, I've had all I've needed, and frankly, most of the things I've wanted, too. I went to Haiti knowing about the orphan crisis there and the level of poverty that permeates most of the country. I went knowing how corrupt the government can be and that well-paying jobs are scarce. I went there with all this "knowledge" and expected to find sadness and lack of hope. In some ways, that was true, but mostly, what I saw instead was something beautiful rising out of the ashes of all that injustice—a people so filled with joy that it was palpable. Their joy didn't come from a long list of accomplishments or successes, or accumulated possessions . . . their joy came from their great faith.
Now . . . did I know that true joy should come from faith and not this list of other stuff? Sure I did. But that's not what jarred me. To see that joy lived out in a group of people who have "nothing" by American standards and contrast that with the depression, anxiety and sadness Americans experience while surrounded by all their "stuff". . . that's what taught me a true lesson about joy.
We're the ones not getting it, friends. But Haitians—they understand fully. No matter the circumstances, in good or in bad—true joy comes from God.