I hardly know where to begin describing my trip to Haiti. My life will forever be changed by that experience. We arrived in Haiti Friday night around dinner time, so we picked our beds and went into the dining hall/ team center for our dinner. The next day, we didn’t really have a set plan for our day. We were going to go to Chambrun to start building our house, but when that didn’t work, we ended up helping around campus on some smaller projects. We spent most of our free time either playing with the kids when they came to the compound (they like to play hot hands or hand games), playing cards with each other, or playing sports with whoever wanted to play. We spent a lot of time just talking or playing cards together throughout the whole week.
Sunday was church day. We started church at around 8:30 and ended around 12:30, and I loved every second of it. Never have I seen a group of people worship with such passion, joy, and sincerity. They sang and danced to their savior with joy in their hearts even if they didn’t know if they’d have anything to eat when they got home. I remember just sitting there in the pew, watching and listening to these amazing people sing to the Lord; and I remember thinking, ” This is what heaven will be like.” All of us there gathered for one purpose: to worship our savior. I’ll save my observations on their passion and soul for another post.
Monday we walked about a mile to the village of Chambrun and started digging the trenches to begin the foundation for the house we were building. We worked in shifts to do all of our work to give each other breaks from working in the heat. We also made sure to drink a ton of water to stay hydrated in the heat. By the time I got to the work site, there was already a group of villagers and children hanging around the work site to see what we were doing. Each day Monday through Thursday we continued working on the house until the concrete was ready to be poured for the making of the floor of the house. It took a lot of work, but we learned a lot about construction, about teamwork, and about each other during the building of the house. We may have also learned about playing with little kids as well.
In the evening we (usually) met on the rooftop of the office to do our devotions as a group. Some of us would also sneak away to the roof at other times to sit and think or read our Bibles. A couple of times we even listed to music, sang, and maybe even danced a little.
Friday was our beach day. Pastor Pierre likes for all the teams that come down to NVM to have a day at the beach to see what God has truly intended for his country. He wants us to see the beauty of Haiti, and what it should all be like. Most of the team was super excited to go to the beach, although I would have rather stayed in Chambrun for a day. Regardless, we all had a great time swimming, playing beach volleyball, and jumping off the water trampoline. Once we got back from the beach we talked, played, and ate together. In the evening, though, the power went out. We (being mostly Matt and Adam, I was just moral support) tried for hours to get it running, but each time, it turned back off in about half and hour. It did this four times that night. I actually enjoyed that experience, though. It, as well as various other inconveniences that week, taught us to rely solely on God. We didn’t know whether we would have water to shower with, or if we would be able to get to the work site that day, but we did know that God was with us, and that was an infinite comfort.
Saturday was a sad day for us, we had to pack up and drive to the airport in the tap-tap ( sort of like a bus). The hardest part was getting onto that tap-tap and not sneaking away to the village to stay. We kept trying to come up with ideas to make us not be able to get to the airport so we would have to stay. Eventually, though, we did leave, and it was a very sad trip back to the States. The funniest part of that day was that the power came back on just as we were leaving the compound!
Well, this is a short story of my trip to Haiti. I hope I can return next year to soak in the joy of that country, but for now, I hope you learn a lot from this story, and I hope it challenges you to experience the same.