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Four Gum Balls and Eleven Cents (A COVID-19 Poem)

Updated: Aug 25, 2021

I was struggling to write an update to our supporters and mLs family about the current situation with COVID-19 in Haiti and the suffering around the world as a whole. Words can’t do justice to the magnitude, heaviness, but also the glimmering hope. 

When Mike messaged me with the number breakdowns from the market on Monday about how it costs only $1.11 a day to provide a LIFE-sustaining meal for a child, elderly, or vulnerable person in our commUNITY and their families too - this poem naturally flowed out of that.

Perspective and a way to help became concrete. $1.11 at a time.

— Sydney, myLIFEspeaks


For 4 and a half gum balls

One dollar and 11 cents

One family will eat today

In their metal roof tents

The world is scary right now

And nothing seems clear

One thing we do know

God won’t leave us here

We all hurt the same

No population is spared

We’re in this together

You’re in our deepest prayers

We too need your prayers

To protect Haitian lives

As we all do our part

In this race against time

We made hand washing stations

From materials on-hand

We’re passing out prayer cards

In Christ we will stand

Social distancing is tough

In Haiti, against cultural norm

But our village heeds the advice

to weather this storm.

The streets mostly empty,

mainly dogs and stray chickens,

a rare but hopeful sight,

as a pandemic thickens.

Our programs have halted

Campus doors temporarily closed

But our commitment to FAMILY

And commUNITY only grows

Pounds of beans, rice, and oil

Bagged lovingly by hand,

As we pray over each person,

pray over our land.

229 weekly meal bags,

individually handed out,

to those most in need,

so they won’t go without.