GCOM Haiti trip, December 2008
Before traveling to Haiti for the first time, I was warned by friends and the media about the dangerous travel reports, malaria, bad water, political unrest, crazy airport, diseases, etc. However I listened to God's voice telling me not to let fear get in the way, and to continue with my plans to go anyway. After arriving in Haiti, I found that reality was not as exaggerated as my preconceived thoughts were of the country. Haiti is a country of children. ADORABLE children. They all stare up at you with bright eyes and are quick to smile for a picture. They'll pile up on you just to sit in your lap or hold your hand. The children of Haiti are eager to learn anything (like some English phrases or a few dance steps), and are abundant with love and graciousness for what little I could give. In the midst of their poverty, the people of Haiti are richer than anyone I've ever known in their spirit, joy, kindness, and love. They deserve to have peace and prosperity. Haiti has taken a huge place in my heart, and I know that I will do whatever I can to help this people to make a difference in this country. By the end of my trip with GCOM, my heart was overflowing with joy!
An excerpt from my journal, Friday, Dec. 19, 2008 (Day 5):
-"...Later on we went to a Revival service in a slum of Port-au-Prince. There was trash everywhere and the roads got smaller and the people lived in dirty shacks. There were naked babies, dirty children, and it was very odd for us to take pictures, so I didn't get as many as I would have liked. But man, as we first sat in the church, one by one little children started coming in. And then the pastor led some hymns and they were so beautiful in Creole. I started crying and was so embarrassed; I didn't want the kids to worry about me or feel offended. But Bobby brought Sandi and I up to be welcomed, and I said that my tears were tears of joy because they are so beautiful and blessed as God's children. One by one little kids would come sit by me, and one girl in particular was always with me, petting my hair, feeling my skin and arms, looking at my face, my mouth, etc, etc... It was very overwhelming.
Why, and how are human beings living like this? How are WE living so extravagantly, but with real ignorance of what goes on in a countries like this? And we as materially rich are poor in spirit. The Haitians are such a sweet people. They smile in the midst of all this, and all are respectful. The children were even making sure I still had my bag and my camera, picking them up for me so they wouldn't get ruined. They never showed any signs of trying to take something. It's so unfair. My life and future will be changed. It's going to be very hard to go back to America, especially Manhattan after seeing all this. But I have this hope, this knowing... and I don't know how I know... maybe because it just makes sense, and is right... but that hope and knowing is that Haiti will be a prosporous country. Maybe I won't see it in my lifetime, but I've already witnessed improvements, and things are going to get better from here on out. That is my prayer, and I am going to do all that I can to help. God, these children are so beautiful. Okay... I don't know what else to say, because words don't describe this expereince. But I love this country, and I know God has a plan."