A Heart for Haiti

A mission trip has always been a part of my bucket list, however I didn’t know that my experience in Haiti would mean so much more to me than checking off a box.

We departed early on March 8th for Haiti, experienced a culture shock of Haitian driving with our fearless bus driver and got comfortable at the Mission of Hope campus.

The next few days were very busy, we participated in painting, planting trees, and S.V.T. (Strategic Village Time) ministries throughout the week. I have so many highlights over these days; painting childrens nails, playing soccer, singing songs, learning our translator John’s testimony, and so much more!

There were times in which I wanted to help and I couldn’t. There is so much poverty, so much hunger, so little of the luxuries that I take advantage of in Canada. These are the times in which we pray for God to provide; I have never prayed harder.

In Haiti asking the question, “does Jesus live in your heart?” is as easy as asking someone how they are. It’s something I’ve struggled with back in Canada. Why don’t we ask this question more? When I asked this question once someone told me that, “life without Jesus is in black and white, while life with Jesus is in colour.” This has rung true in my life ever since.

Another experience I had while in Haiti was the moment of understanding the value of small things. When my skirt blew into a wire fence and ripped, to me it wasn’t a big deal (a $10 Value Village find), but to every Haitian I spoke with for the rest of the day, it was. I have so much that throwing away a skirt means nothing, but to them they don’t have a choice but to value everything they own.

On Sunday, we had the opportunity to participate in a Haitian church service and a worship service in the evening. God is praised with a passion that can only be explained as Haitian. I felt the music run through my veins with a fire for God. It’s an experience I’ll never forget.

Every night in Haiti our team would gather for devotions, we would share our highlights and lowlights, listening to one another’s struggles and triumphs. Our group grew closer together. On one of our last nights we shared things we appreciated about one another, the words that were spoken I will cherish forever.

The plan was to depart on March 15, however there was a security strike at the Haiti airport and our team was placed on different flights throughout the following days. Originally I was upset, because I was homesick. However, I wouldn’t trade those extra three days I got in Haiti for the world. I took every opportunity I had to get out into the villages. Every time was different and unique. You make new connections, you learn new stories, you see God’s workmanship. I prayed in a circle of around 70 who were holding hands for a village filled with voodoo. I was greatly impacted by what I saw, it was worth wearing dirty socks for.

My mission trip to Haiti was a lifechanging experience that I would encourage any individual to explore in the future. You gain an experience that completely broadens your perspective on the world, it makes your heart grow 10 sizes, it makes you want to return and never come home, it makes your world even more filled with colour.

To hear more check out our blog! http://haiti2017hdch.blogspot.ca/

Lesley DeBoer
Grade 12 Student