When you think of a mission trip to a third world country, you think of poverty and helping people and gaining a new perspective on life. Our trip was all of those things, but so much happened there in just one week that I didn’t expect. I’ll share just a couple with you.
The first unexpected blessing, bonus, reward, is the relationships we built. We built relationships with Live Beyond, the people of Thomazeau, people from other places that also came on our trip, and above all, each other. Our STAR group of 7 arrived at the Nashville airport around 4 am on a Saturday morning and we didn’t know each other. We talked some at the airport, some on the plane to Miami and by the time we finished breakfast at the Miami airport, I had gained 6 new friends! While in Haiti, we had worship together, we had meals together, bunked together, served the people of Haiti together and even caught a few sunrises together. We can sit in airports all day and not run out of things to talk about! I miss those things and value the new relationships I have made so much.
The second is how thankful I am to be able to worship God freely, without fear of harm to myself or members of my family. We had church on Sunday morning, it was 3 1/2 hours and in Creole, but it was amazing to see God working there. I didn’t really understand the language but the feelings that were present were undeniable. Six or seven people were baptized that morning. One of the local voodoo warlords attended that service…who can say they have had that happen? As we prayed for those young people, I wondered, is he going to do something bad to them or to their families? Their faith so strong and innocent, they have chosen to follow Jesus no matter what the cost. How would I handle that? Hopefully I would be just as strong and courageous. I thank God that I am free to worship him and not be tested like that. I have added that to the list of things I am thankful for.
I have so many other things to tell about my time in Haiti, I could write a book. Who knows? Maybe I will! If you have a chance, GO! It is amazing! I can’t wait to go back!