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Carole Meekins: Positively Milwaukee

Life Lesson from Haiti

A Pastor's Recollections

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Sometimes there are people you know who make all of us feel small.

One of those people is Dr. Nathaniel Stampley. Stampley is President of "Least of These International Ministries" based at 1036 W. Atkinson Ave in Milwaukee. He's a pastor and a missionary, and has spent much of his life helping the poor.

Dr. Stampley recently went on a mission to Haiti. He is well known as a first responder after disasters. Dr. Stampley has been to Africa 25 times. He made several missions down south after Hurricane Katrina. But Stampley says nothing prepared him for what he witnessed in Haiti. A county in pure turmoil.

But what's most poignant about Stampley's story is how he recounts the spirit of the survivors. He describes them as a strong, proud group. People who despite great despair refuse to give up and a country still filled with hope, despite great tragedy.

One example Stampley describes is the reaction of a man around 21 years old after Stampley gives him a ball as a gift. Yes, a simple ball that he says was not even regulation sized. The pastor says Haitian man was so grateful and happy, he will never forget the joy and elation on his face. All for receiving a modest gift that most of us would take for granted.

Perhaps the best lesson we could give many of our entitled citizens is a trip to an impoverished nation. It's easy when you live in the wealthiest country in the world to forget your daily blessings. We are often spoiled.

Many or our daily necessities are sacred to those living in impoverished nations. To see and experience the ravages of pain and poverty is a life lesson of humility. Arguably, one we could all use. Maybe then we would stop complaining about what matters little, and take major steps to savor what matters most.

You will be able to see more of our conversation with Dr. Nathaniel Stampley and his eye opening trip to Haiti in a few weeks on Positively Milwaukee. Stay tuned.


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