Matt 14:29- Impossibly Haiti

 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.”

The first day we arrived in Haiti was relatively uneventful. We took the best nap of our lives and experienced driving through Haiti. We had plenty of time to settle in to our new environment and prepare for what was going to be the most heart-wrenching week of our lives.

My favorite part of Haiti was driving through the streets. Not because I wanted to gawk at the poverty (which I often felt like I was doing) that surrounded me but because when I climbed in that truck and put my faith entirely in the driver without stoplights or seat belts I felt immersed in the little piece of culture that I could experience the way the Haitians around me did. It made me feel alive and it helped me to understand their lives in at least some small way. Riding in the truck was how I came in and went out of the country and it was a constant every day I was there.

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The first day the Gospel was when Jesus called Peter out on to the water. We heard this Gospel twice more that week for a variety of reasons that I’ll just call God-cidences. Of course, this Gospel is MORE than fitting for this past summer when Hillsong’s “Oceans” is every young missionary’s anthem. I had a very unique reflection of the Gospel in the setting of Haiti that came out of fear, trust in God, and a deep desire to give myself to God in every way that he was calling me.

Jesus asked Peter to come to Him across the water. He asked me to also step out on the water in my trip and to trust him. I had so many feelings about the trip and about life. I was worried. But this Gospel reminded me that if I trust God he will help me be brave and if I stumble, he will grab me just like he did with Peter. I couldn’t let the language barrier, or disappointments, or struggles of my heart keep me from answering God’s call to come out on the water. God asked me to set aside fear and to take up faith.

After Peter struggled and doubted, Jesus picked him up and calmed the wind. God knows exactly how much we can ‘handle’ and sometimes he knows we can handle the IMPOSSIBLE like walking on water. God has great expectations for us and I found great value in living up to those by serving in Haiti.

1 Corinthians 16:14- Haiti

“Let all that you do be done in love.”

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About two months ago I went on an incredible journey to Haiti to serve and to love and to give of myself in a very real way. I spent a week working in the missions of the Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa’s order). Every morning we would run an all boys camp. We fed the boys breakfast, ran several stations of activities, fed them lunch and then sent them home with hugs and love. In the afternoons we would go to either a Children’s Home for sick babies or the House of the Dying. At the Children’s home, we would hold the sick babies or play with them if they were well enough. There was a few older orphans that liked to play (read: destroy) our hair and eat our candy. We sometimes would help with meals and diaper changes but mostly we just loved those babies that didn’t have anyone to hold them. At the Home for the Dying there was a variety of ages. I spent most of my time with two little girls I thought to be about 6 and 8 but later learned were 8 and 13. Many of the women we visited enjoyed having their nails painted or would braid our hair. Sometimes our tasks were as simple as to pray. In every experience, love was ever present and overwhelming from the Haitians.

As lessons in love I learned many many things from the Haitians. I’m sure there will be multiple posts about this trip, each about a different life lesson. But most importantly, I learned how powerful love is. I learned what it meant to give of myself and to serve. But I also learned that the greatest act of service will always be overshadowed by the love I feel in return. I expected to spend nights in tears when I was on mission but I always spent my reflection time smiling and feeling uplifted.

Look for much more to come about this incredible adventure!