Haiti Mission Reflection from Megan Hemmingsen
I had the extreme privilege of being on the first STAR Mission Team to Haiti in 2015. It was a life changing event for me. My eyes were opened to poverty and hunger I had never imagined possible. It was an experience I knew I would be called back to serve again. I had tried to set up a trip with several friends, but our schedules just didn’t coordinate. Then, I got the company email from Dave saying STAR was headed back to Thomazeau in early 2017. I immediately emailed Dave telling him about the strong call I felt to return to Thomazeau and serve these wonderful people, and would it be possible for me to “tag along” with the next group. There are no words to accurately describe how thankful I am for STAR allowing us to follow our calling, in our communities and abroad.
This trip was a little different for me because I knew what to expect when we traveled from the airport to the Thomazeau. I knew the poverty and starvation my teammates were about to witness. You think you have an understanding of poverty and oppression until you see it in person. It is an eye opening experience to see a family of 5+ living in a tin, one room house. Also, knowing this family likely doesn’t know where or when their next meal will be. We met these families and walked through their homes. It’s a humbling experience to provide a meal for a child who is severely malnourished. The touching part of my trip is now seeing some of these same kiddos 2 years later and they have grown several inches and put on several pounds. There is now hope and light in their eyes that wasn’t always there in 2015. With every passing mission trip at LiveBeyond, the people of Thomazeau are learning they are worthy in God’s eyes. It’s quite remarkable to watch Nadia walk into the clinic unassisted and with confidence, knowing 2 years ago she couldn’t walk without a significant amount of assistance. I watched Chenyelo and Pierre-Richard fly down the hallway laughing and playing. Lancy and Daphne have an infectious smile and laugh that warms your heart when you see them. This trip was just as life changing and eye opening. It has taught me to live intentionally and to encounter every person as if they are Lancy, Chenyelo, Pierre-Richard, Nadia, Daphne, and Lerisa, because you never know the light you may be to a person surrounded by darkness.
Matthew 5:16: “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”