I just got back a few days ago from a mission trip to Haiti. For those who follow me on social media, you know this, because I have literally been blowing up my Facebook and Instagram with pictures from my trip. I had the opportunity to go to the Dominican Republic just two years ago on a mission trip, so I assumed I knew what to expect. Although right next door to the DR, Haiti was a completely different experience.
A completely different experience in culture, language, people, scenery, and faith. This experience was one that shakes up your world, changes your view, inspires you, challenges you, and encourages you to stretch yourself. I won't go through every little detail of our time in Haiti, although I would absolutely love to, I wanted to share my trip with you by telling you about our time working with Mission of Hope and serving an abundant God.
I ventured to Haiti with 23 other incredible leaders and teens from The Ridge who gave up their spring break to serve others. If that doesn't say enough about the character of each of these individuals, just know that I was incredibly blessed to grow closer to each of them and to witness all that they were doing for the glory of God.
While in Haiti we were staying at the Bercy Mission Of Hope campus. Our living situation for the week included bunk beds, mosquito nets, and LOTS of bug spray and sun screen.
The Bercy campus is gorgeous and the sunsets are breathtaking. We had mountains on one side of us and ocean on the other. It was the most beautiful place ever. With that being said, Haiti as a whole is a stunning country.
Throughout our week partnering with Mission Of Hope, there were a number of things that we were apart of. We had raised money to build two latrines which are outhouse style bathrooms for two Haitian families. Our teens organized Bible stories and lessons for Kids Clubs (sort of like a short VBS), where we sang songs with the kids and we helped feed them a meal. We also were apart of SVT (strategic village time). Throughout our SVT visits to the villages, we would spend time building relationships with families. They would welcome us into their homes and we would ask them questions to see what they have access to and what they do not have access to. We would ask them about their health, their family, their water situation, and if they went to church. One of my favorite things was listening to their personal stories about their walk with Christ and how they came to know Christ. This is something I highly value about Mission Of Hope. Their mission; "As an organization, following Jesus Christ, Mission Of Hope seeks to bring life transformation to every man, woman, and child in Haiti." Their mission statement is a living testimony to what the purpose behind SVT is. As an organization they are not only meeting the physical needs of the Haitian people but they are also aspiring to meet their spiritual needs too.
It doesn't take long to realize the differences in culture when comparing Haiti to the United States. What we would consider shacks, they consider homes. What we consider "very little", they consider "all that they could ever need". What we consider nothing, they consider everything. What we would consider sorrow and pain, they consider happiness and joy!
I feel that most people expect to impact those that they come across when traveling internationally especially when it is for a mission trip. I was so heavily impacted on this trip by those that I came across while in Haiti. Whether is was the teens that I was traveling with, the families that we met in the villages, our translators, or the staff and interns with Mission Of Hope, they all taught me SO much.
Mission of Hope is such an incredible organization and I encourage you to check them out! Their website is www.mohhaiti.org and they are also on social media.
If you have ever considered going on a mission trip, pray about it, and GO FOR IT! It is one of the coolest experiences you will ever have. You learn so much about the culture, about yourself, and about your relationship with God. God uses you in ways that you would never even imagine. I hope to be back to Haiti fairly soon and I miss it so much already! The awesome thing is, we don't even have to travel out of the country to be disciples for God. It is important to remember that God can totally use us in our own hometowns, our state, and our country. I am so thankful for the continual blessings God has given me. Nothing is possible without Him. Today and everyday I am thankful for life, for hope, for service, and for a loving God. Someone once said, "As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness."
Serving with a grateful heart,