In Haiti we worked with the two orphanages and looked at other prospecting orphanages. With them we cleared the land of thorns ( I’m talking thorns the size of golf tees), rocks and trash making it suitable for the children with ONLY sandals to play in a more safe environment. We also planted and tilled several gardens within the orphanages so that they could be more self-sufficient and possibly sell the fruit for money. We help rebuild a road through a village that was the main road to a spring at the top of the hill that had been weathered away. We also hiked up a mountain and visited a village that lives on top the mountain and brought them plants and fruit trees to grow with the same goal of making them more self-reliant. I didn’t realize it until I was in Haiti, but to actually get something accomplished down there takes a lot of coordination and preparation. You need the proper tools, transportation to get places, a translator to help communicate, and a gallon of water so you don’t get heat exhaustion, etc. If just one of those things is missing it can throw off an entire day. And lastly — and I feel most importantly — we just played with the kids. These kids literally were stuck on you like glue. They loved affection and just being touched. They lit up as soon you smiled or waved at them.
Something that really hit me while in Haiti was the opportunity we have in America. We literally have every resource we could ever need and the only thing that’s holding us back is our own laziness. I’m as guilty as the rest but we take for granted what we have on a daily basis. I was looking at the kids and the people in the villages and felt like they were all a product of the system and it would be a miracle if they make it out. While in Haiti, God revealed to me that there’s another world out there and that I have been extremely blessed. It opened my eyes that people need help and that I have been blessed and need to give back. A verse that continued to come to my mind was when Jesus says at one point in Luke, “To whom much is given, much will be required.” This verse was on my mind because sometimes we get caught up keeping up with the Jones’ (or the Kardashians for that matter haha) and we fail to realize how truly blessed and fortunate we really are in America to have the lifestyle we have. When I was down there I literally saw families living out of tents and living off a scoop of rice a day. It made me feel like my small Maryville apartment I live in was a Palace. God has blessed myself and so many others, so I thought for people who are given more, more is expected of them in return. We all have different gifts and abilities that can help people in someway or somewhere.
The thing about Haiti (or other poverty-stricken countries) is that you can read about it, hear about it, and see it on TV, but you truly don’t understand the level of poverty there is until you see it for yourself. If you ever get the opportunity to go on a mission trip or to a third world country, I would strongly recommend it. It’s a life changing experience. I would definitely go back if I had the opportunity.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Jesus (Matthew 25:40)
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