Saturday, June 23, 2012

Take the Time to Look

Yesterday, as I was holding a sick baby girl, I felt a connection I hadn't thought possible with someone I'd never met.  Trusting, accepting and completely content to just be held.  We sat there together, completely silent, for words weren't necessary.  Each feeling a peace that neither wanted to end.

As I looked at this child that I knew nothing about (not even her name), I saw a beauty of innocence that is often reflected in the faces of young children.  I didn't know her  past and I don't know her future, but for a few short hours we shared the gift of human touch.  It was all either one of us needed or wanted.  Everything else going around us faded and just didn't matter.

As I sat there thinking how beautiful this child was, I happened to look up and outside the housing complex.  As I sat there in the late afternoon under a palm tree rustling in the wind, I looked beyond the shacks and earthquake rubble and saw cascading flowering shrubs across the courtyard with the mountains surrounding Port au Prince in the distance.  If we only take the time to look, great beauty is often all around us.

In Cite Soleil, it's the smiles of the people who live in the slum.  In the Home for Sick and Dying Children, it's the heartbreaking touch and love shared amongst strangers.  At Grace Village, it's the joy and happiness seen in the faces of the orphaned children.

We only have to take the time to look.  We must take the tine to look or we will miss it forever.
As I look into your deep dark colorless eyes, as you stand/lay there looking up at me i wonder.. Where have you been? What have you seen? Are you hurting? Are you hungry? Where is your family? Why do you look so empty inside? Why do you look so sad? What is causing all your tears? You look like your in pain. Why wont you smile? But then when I pick you up and cradle you in my arms, all the pain goes away, all the hurt inside is gone. Now when I look into your deep dark colorless eyes, I see love, I see hope, I see happiness, I see a smile. What is god trying to teach me? What is the lord trying to show me and get through to me? Why was I chosen to come here and do his work? Be the hands and feet of HIM. I don't have the answer to any of these questions yet, but as I go on being his hands and feet, they all become more clear. Why is it that the people with the most are the least generous, and the people with the least are the most generous? A little girl with no pants and no shoes gave me a bracelet the second day I was here. I gave it back and told her she deserved it, and i took off my necklace and put it around her. The people here are all so happy and so full of life and joy. Why do we sit and complain about how our iphone isn't working correctly, or how the milk in the fridge is old. WHY? I do it myself all the time. The people of Haiti work so very hard for every little thing that they have. People work day and night just to get enough money for one meal. The first time I came down here I fell in love. With the people, with the animals, with the landscapes, but mostly with the hearts. The hearts of the people here are so soft and gentle. I don't understand why god put them here, with nothing. But then I think, would these people be the same if they had all the materials we did? would they still have the sweet little hearts that they have now? Are we so greedy and rude to people because of all the materials we have? What if we didn't have them, and all we have was our family and our faith? Would our perspective on life change? Theres so many unanswered questions. And most of them probably won't be answered in my life time. But I can always wonder. This trip has been amazing. It has opened my eyes to so much more than what I have seen before. Having all the kids run up to me remembering who I am and my name is just heart warming, and it will never get old. As our trip comes to an end and we get  closer to leaving, the more I want to never leave and stay here forever. I feel like I am me here. I can be my self around anyone. And I don't feel out of place or judge. I was brought here for a reason. This is my home.

                       Makenzi Hunn

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 3 in Haiti

Day 3 in Haiti: 

We all woke up to friendly faces, a good breakfast, and comfortable beds today. How blessed we truly are to have such a positive start to our day doing God's work. 

We all traveled by taptap to Titanyen which is a small village about an hour away from the guest house. There we visited a number of elderly Haitians who lived alone and had little or no help in getting the basic living necessities of food and water. Some of them were affected by blindness, stroke, or partial paralysis. We brought them God's love, songs, prayers, sandwich, fruit, and water. They were very grateful and touched by the kindness and time spent with them. This was a reminder to us how God's love can connect us with another human just by spending time and listening with them. 

Our second destination was Gertrude's an orphanage for orphans and disabled children. Upon walking in we saw different aged children playing and laughing, some in wheel chairs, some with down syndrome, others with both mental and physical disabilities. Gertrude's also cares for children abandoned by their parents, without any types of disabilities. We played and interacted, spreading God's love and care. Gertrude's brought us out of our comfort zone and helped us to see that we can make a positive difference in a child's day to day life. 

-Jolene and Alison LeVahn

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Today I was restored

Today I was restored

We started out the day at the home for sick and dying adults. We rubbed lotion on the women and painted their nails. At first I was a little uncomfortable but then I remembered…. it’s not about me! It’s about serving God and the people of Haiti. The women seemed to appreciate it so much! What amazed me the most about this experience was attitude of the younger girls on our team. They all started out painting nails something they were more comfortable with, but when asked to help lotion the women they all willingly jumped in and began applying lotion. Seeing them lovingly massage these women made me admire each of them a little bit more than I already did. I was amazed by their servant hearts and their willingness to go beyond themselves and serve others.

We went to the Aparent project where we were able to purchase jewelry from local Haitians who are working to support their families. What a gift to be able to support such a great cause and support the people of Haiti! I was able to go upstairs and see some of the jewelry being made. So cool to see people working to support their families and their future. What a great organization.

Then we went to the home for the sick and dying infants and kids. It was fun to see some familiar little faces. See the smiles and laughter of the children playing in the courtyard. It made me sad to feel the heat from the fevers of some of the children I held or to hear the crud in their lungs as they breath. One little girl seemed hungry and was really thin but when I tried to give her the bottle she just didn’t want it.

When we got back we ate dinner. Then the girls went to the top of the hill to play soccer with some of the kids in the street. Later I walked up the hill to watch the soccer game. As I was walking there was this little girl about three years old running towards me as fast as her little legs would carry her. She ran straight into my arms where I gladly scooped he up and carried her up the hill. I held her and we laughed and played she took my glasses and tried them on her little face. She was so cute and she totally made my day running towards me with so much joy and excitement! This is why I love Haiti I have the opportunity to give so much but in return I receive so much more than I could ever give.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Some things to think about:
Do you have time to spare?
Do you have money/food/water to spare?
Do you have love to spare?

Landing yesterday I knew I had no clue what we were in for. The amount of compassion I feel here makes the Love of my life seem trivial. The people here are kings and queens without thrones. They live like mice in someone else's home, and this simply should not be the case. Personally, I've seen things wear my heart down and stifle my confidence, how weak is my heart? Nothing in my past seems like it could stifle the hearts here. Their love for God is stronger then mine, and I pray daily. Their closeness to the world, God, and each other are truly the necessities of life, and I believe this is why they still are thriving here. (maybe not thriving physically, but in spirit they are truly soldiers) I hope this inspires.  -Francesca Collyard

Monday, June 18, 2012


Amidst chaos, confusion and fatigue we have arrived.  Our attention must now turn to the task at hand. How can we help?

Tomorrow our work begins with the delivery of portable water to the people living in the slums of Cite Soliel.  Without such deliveries, living there would be difficult if not impossible.  Every drop is precious.  Every drop is life-giving.

On our ride to the guest house, we catch a glimpse into the lives of the Haitians.  Many are homeless, thrust into tent cities by a massive earthquake a couple of years ago.  The effects from which will be felt for many more years to come.  Many wave and smile.  Some simply ignore us and focus on whatever they are doing.

Are we so different?  Culture and economic blessings separate us, but are we really so different?  Aren't we all just doing the best we can in life?  When we look in their eyes can we not see that they too have hopes and dreams?  Aren't we really united in more ways than we differ?

In the end aren't we all just one people, linked in faith, all struggling in a chaotic world.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

It's Time

How will I feel?  Will I be safe?  Will I get sick?   Will I be as excited in Haiti as I am now?
Ten of us have taken time out of our busy schedules to come together and travel to a country most of us have only read about. We all have questions.  We all have doubts.  We each will struggle to cope when we are pushed out of our comfort zones.  Each of us will search to find purpose and meaning in what we will see.
The mission trip we signed up for months ago is now upon us.  The pre-trip preparations are all complete.  Items purchased, donations collected and everything is packed. We are now faced with a couple of days of quiet waiting and reflecting on what we are about to embark.
There will be joyous times.  There will uplifting moments.  There will also be days filled with introspection.  All of this will come together to make a permanent imprint on us and the way we look at things.  We all will be affected differently, but this is certain, we all will be affected.