Mesi Bondye Mesi – Thank you God Thank you
That is the only word that I can use to describe my recent trip to Haiti. And seeing my family was just as amazing. From the moment I arrived at the mission base I could feel the Holy Spirit surrounding not only myself but all the missionaries that were there. And what a feeling! I have never felt that kind of peace, joy, and happiness in one place. The joy I saw in everyone’s eyes was incredible, from the little kids to the teens and adults was just incredible. Of course we had some chores that needed to be done, but again even those very rewarding. We had several opportunities for house visits and for myself I had the opportunity to pray the Rosary with Father Dumas who is restricted to a wheel chair and is unable to speak due to automobile accident. House visits were incredible. To see the need and want of the Lord in the Haitians lives was simply a joy.
Before coming home we were asked a couple questions. What we would bring back with us, and what we would be leaving in Haiti? For me I brought back more love and joy for the Gospel, and how to live out the Gospel more. I learned by living it more is how we spread the Lords love. The thing I left was doubt. I know the Lords love for me is so much greater than what I knew, and will ever know. This experience broke me down, and put me back together in such a way that it is unimaginable. What a blessing it was for me.
Life Teen Core Team
If I were to use one word to describe what I took away from my experience in Haiti, it would be perspective. Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world with somewhere around two and a half million people living in extreme poverty. It’s one thing to read that, but it is a whole different story to see it first hand. We got a sense of it as soon as we began our drive through the streets of Port-au-Prince. Garbage piled up along the street and in the ditches, pigs and goats rummaging through them. People set up selling a variety of food and other goods right alongside of the trash, but among these wretched conditions, everyone seemed to have a smile. We’d drive by a group of children and they’d smile and wave to us as if to say, “Welcome to Haiti.” As we drove further away from the city we saw houses, if you could call them that, they were no bigger than the shed in my back yard. I still have a hard time grasping the thought of families living in something that small, but they do. In my mind these are the kind of conditions that could make people very angry and hopeless, but these are two things I did not experience at all in Haiti. Throughout the week we had encounters with people so full of joy and hope that it blew me away. They have very little in the way of material things, but they have joy. Everyone I met had the biggest smile and when we went on a home visit, they went out of their way to make sure everyone had a seat. I was in awe of how they gave from the little they had for us to be comfortable. From my “first world” point of view, it’s hard to understand how people with so little can be so joyful, but in a very real way, it is the fact that they have little that they can be joyful. We are always so bogged down with the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, always distracted with the next gadget that is going to make our lives easier, but all the while we are so far removed from what truly matters: Christ and others. During our time in Haiti, along with the work projects and home visits, we also had an opportunity to experience and participate in the life of the missionaries, specifically their prayer time. One morning we reflected on a passage from Matthew’s Gospel (Matt. 6:25-34). It is in this passage I was able to find perspective.
God will take care of all my needs. My job is to seek Him out above all things and more often than not the best place to find Him is in others.