Nothing could have prepared me for my first mission trip to Haiti in 2013. I had heard so many stories and seen lots pictures from previous mission teams. I thought I knew what I was going to experience. But nothing could truly prepare you for what you were going to see. Seeing pictures is one thing, but actually seeing it for yourself and experiencing it first hand was something I could never forget. When I heard Hurricane Matthew had hit Haiti, leaving the island in total destruction, it broke my heart knowing that most citizens had no clue the storm was coming for them. Some people might view the Haitians as poor, incapable, and takers. They are the complete opposite of that, I admire the Haitians. I wish I could live in the way they do.
Have you ever heard people say “there’s so much hope in Haiti”? Well, it’s true. They have been through hell and back, but yet they still keep on going. They have hope that there’s going to be better days ahead. If they don’t eat for two days they still have hope that they will find food. They have hope that one day they won’t live in fear, whether if it’s for their safety or whether or not they will have a meal. But most importantly they have hope in God.
Givers instead of takers
They give even when they don’t have anything to give. Yes, they do take when others give but they are so appreciated of whatever it may be. One year I brought a suitcase full of worn out tennis shoes to hand out, you would have thought they were getting the newest, nicest shoes. However, they may not be able to physically give you something. But they give you their love, their respect, their smiles, but the one thing they gave me was a whole new perspective on life. They had nothing, but they were so full of joy and happiness. It was a slap in the face to witness this first hand. We take everything for granted, and to be honest we like to take more than we like to give. But trust me the feeling of satisfaction of giving doesn't compare to receiving.
They cling to God
Haitians have an abundance of faith. Whether it’s on a Sunday or on a normal weekday, they are praising God every opportunity. Why? Maybe because they’re alive, maybe because they had food that day, maybe a mission team built them a house. I was overwhelmed when we attended a church service in Haiti, I had never witnessed people worship God with all that was in them. You could tell they were giving it everything they had. They praise God no matter what storm they’re facing. God is all they have. I mean God is all we need, is it not?
Haitians are rich in love, they're capable of doing anything and they give as much as they can, even when they have nothing to give. So after Hurricane Matthew plowed through I was saddened, but at the same time I had this weird reassurance that they were going to be just fine. Haitians are the strongest people I know. They have hope and I do too, hope that they will get through this disaster. I pray we appreciate everything we have, and our lives. I pray we have hope, that we’re not all Debbie-downers. I pray we become a nation on our knees for God.