I had a really hard time choosing a favorite photo because there are so many that move me. This photo really gets me because I remember thinking at that exact moment, "I'll treasure this forever". I've always sponsored little girls, but this little guy was certainly meant to meet me that day and be my sponsored child. Love and affection are such beautiful experiences and I think as a young, single, woman it's so important to remember that love comes in so many forms. It doesn't have to be a romantic relationship or a boyfriend or a husband, there are SO many other ways to experience love. The love I feel for the Haitian people is so real and so important. Their love for each other, God, and just everything around them is humbling. Also, I think I've really reconsidered what "needy" means to me since the trip. While the people we meet in Haiti are in extreme need of many physical things (money, clothes, food, etc.), and these are real and urgent needs, we are JUST as desperately and urgently in need! Sure, we don't urgently need food or clothes, but we NEED to start loving one another, ourselves, and God the way the Haitian people do. We need to put our technology down, we need to think about people outside of our little bubble, we need to think about the long-term consequences of our impulsive decisions, and we need to reconsider our priorities. We are just as needy as they are, and some physical items don’t fix our needs as easily. So who is really more "needy"?
By Caitlin (Haiti 2016 team member)
Our adventure started on Sunday, 2 October, knowing Hurricane Matthew was brewing and would be making its way between the Island of Hispaniola and Cuba within a couple days of our arrival in Haiti. The airlines were flying, so we were going and we were ready to do whatever God had for us to do. On Monday, all four teams, 13 people total, rode out to the farming village of Danda. Even though all of the schools were closed that week due to the impending storm, 101 of the children showed up at the Church to be interviewed, measured, and photographed. Some of these children walk miles down from the mountains to attend the school and church, so it was awesome to see so many on a day when they didn’t need to be there. Tuesday was “Hurricane Party” Day. Pastor said we needed to stay at the Mission House because the storm was already hitting southern Haiti as a Category 4 Hurricane. We played games with some of our Haitian sisters and brothers and prepared supplies for the next school visit, while Rose-Katia braided hair (the men’s hair too!), and waited for the storm to hit.
Have you seen a miracle? We have. While we were in Haiti, we had family back home sending us pictures of the weather map showing Haiti and the Dominican Republic covered by Hurricane Matthew. These pictures showed the havoc that the hurricane was wrecking in southwestern Haiti and other areas. We were shocked because we didn’t even have a slight breeze and only very few sprinkles of rain! Our families thought we were being wiped off the face of the planet, but so many people all over the world were praying for our safety and God covered us in His big powerful hand! From everything we’ve read since returning, our little corner of Haiti was the only area that didn’t get anything from the storm. We are so very grateful, but also saddened by all the flooding, destruction, and deaths that did occur. Please keep Haiti in your prayers, always. (And the Dominican Republic next door.) NOTE: “Our” area of Haiti has flooded since we’ve returned, just from torrential downpours. There have been some deaths and many sick people.
On Wednesday, we were able to get back to visiting schools. Unfortunately, the Government shut down all of the schools for the week due to the impending storm, so out of the 13 schools in the program, we only interviewed children at seven and saw a total of 373 students during the trip.
We’ve added three more schools to His Hands for Haiti! We will be adding information about the three new villages and updating the children on the website soon, so please check back at the website often and share with all your friends! We made it back to the U.S. on 10 October with sadness in our hearts from leaving our friends behind again. Thankfully, we know that with God’s leading we will go back and do His works that He sends us to do come rain, shine, or Hurricanes. All Glory to God for His faithfulness to His children!
For the beautiful children through God’s leading, we thank you!
Haiti Program Coordinator