So, How was Haiti?
so, how was haiti?
Minutes: 4 minutes
I'm going to be honest... it's taken me some time to write this. There's so much I've wanted to say in the past couple of weeks since I've been back from Haiti, but it's been really difficult to find the right words and frame it in the right way so I don't just seem overdramatic.
I think I have a certain writing style: Genuine, vulnerable, with a little wit here and there, but overall a style that uncovers a lot of things people are thinking but don't know how to form into words.
So I definitely wanted this piece to be relatable and witty and make you really think, but the more I tried to write *on brand*, the more difficult it was to actually write.
And then I realized I was trying too hard to write a certain way that I wasn't being true to who I am.
So, I decided to stop trying and simply share with you what's on my heart and be hopeful that you can take something from it.
And if you don't, it's okay - this post may not be for you. But it's for someone, and whoever you are, I'm glad you're reading.
So, how was Haiti?
Ive struggled and struggled to try and capture a rollercoaster of events and emotions into comprehensible sentences. There are so many memories I want to share and so many thoughts I want to help you understand and relive, but my words simply won't do any of it justice.
You have to just trust me when I tell you that this is one of those things that you have to experience yourself.
But if I could sum up the entire week in the best way possible, I think one of my team members said it best:
Haiti is a very troubled place... but God is there.
I don't think I was expecting the level of poverty that met me when I touched based on the island. Majority of Haitans living in the village were housed in blue canvas tents held together by ropes and rusted tin. The streets were filled to the brim with trash, which turned into pollution every night when they burned it since there was no actual waste management. And though the island is housed in a tropical climate, the ground was rocky and barren and looked like I was standing in Palestine or another desert area.
But in the midst of what seemed to be a broken and forgotten land, I literally felt God in so many places.
I felt Him when we were walking past the on campus orphanage and a 8 year old boy without saying a word, ran up to me and gently linked his arm around mine, not leaving my side all the way to the church and through it.
I felt Him when we were actually in church, and everyones hands were lifted, both Haitains and Americans, and every voice was raised, both Creole and English, and the only thing that mattered in that simple moment with all of our differences was praising God.
I felt Him when we visited the villages and the children screamed with joy and excitement in Creole as we laughed and danced and jumped roped in the field.
I felt Him when a young Haitian girl noticed me pick up my dirty water bottle and took it from me, using water and her hand to help clean it off.
I felt Him when we walked into the Prosthetics clinic, and I watched Haitians alongside Americans working hard to provide limbs for children that lost them in the earthquake.
I felt Him in the village when I asked a Haitian woman through the translator if I could hold her hand while we prayed for her sick mom and protection over her family and she eagerly grabbed mine.
I felt Him when that same woman invited us into her home, and her face lit up with excitement and gratitude as she brought me over to her mom who kissed me on the cheek.
I felt Him when I looked over at my team members in the midst of incredible prayer requests, beautiful children, and hard work, laughing and loving.
And I felt Him when we were saying goodbye to our new friends as the short day came to a close. And as they walked us to our bus with their arms around our waist singing, "See you tomorrow, if God willing" in Creole.
I felt Him, I felt Him, and I felt Him.
And it was absolutely amazing.
It moved me. It rejuvenated me. It made me re-realize that God is here and He has a purpose for each of our lives.
But it also wrecked me in the most humbling way. To see people who have so little, praise God as if they had everything.
I think I always assumed that people's main goal for visiting third world countries was to help. To make a difference, like eradicating hunger or saving orphan children. A cause everyone can collectively stand behind.
And I hopped on board, ready to make a difference in Haiti. Ready to help build houses, ready to save families, ready to pray.
But never would I have ever imagined that they would bless me.
That their hugs, and kisses, and laughter, and smiling eyes, and indescribable joy, and curiosity, and cleverness, and hope, and faith, and love would bless me. They didn't care who I was, or who I used to be. Or If I was staying for a year, or two days. They just knew that at that moment, I was here with them, and that's all that mattered.
So they showered me with their love and hoped I would love them back. And I did. I truly genuinely loved and cared for them. I played with them and prayed with them and laughed with them.
And shared in the warmth and acceptance of people who I didn't have to earn it from. And because of that, I see the world differently. Not in a pretentious way where I feel guilty for what I have and what God has blessed me with.
No, I realize my life is way bigger than my own and I'm here on this earth for a reason. I realize that God is working through me and has a plan for my life.
And I realize that if the Haitians I had the privilege to meet, have absolutely nothing but still have incredible faith...
...then who am I, living in the midst of God's blessing, to not?
So how was Haiti, you ask?
And God willing, I can't wait to return.
-The Corporate Traveler
The organization I traveled with in Haiti is called Mission of Hope. For more information on taking a Mission Trip to Haiti with them, please visit https://mohhaiti.org/