I never envisioned traveling to a different country by the age of twenty-two. I thank God and mama Mari (Wiles) for this great opportunity. Being in Haiti this week has really been an eye-opener to everything I have been afforded and take for granted daily.
Starting off on Monday and meeting the construction team I could already tell that they were a humble team and will be fun to work with. As others worked on the roof of a home I felt so out of place, but after seeing some kids and sharing candy with them I think I found my calling. After taking a lunch break and going back to the site, while the men were hard at work; Craig, Leah, Cady, Mama Mari, and I headed to an orphanage to play with the kids.
Passing out candy and stuffed turtles, telling them Bible stories by a translator, teaching them songs, and having them sing to us made me so happy. After playing soccer (or to them, football) and Frisbee was such a joyous time changing the lives of the children with just spending time with them and letting them play. Being in construction for day two I felt so much more helpful. As we began with an assembly line of bricks while singing a Zulu song from the Instruments of Praise Gospel Choir repertoire, “Bona Kala.” Later on in the day, I sifted rocks out of the dirt to help with the mortar mixture. Another one of my favorite memories that warms my heart is playing with kids in the village and hearing the voices of the children utter the only English words they know, “Hey you” – it never gets old.
I wanted to try something new so I moved to the medical team for the rest of week. Going up to the mountains and seeing the beautiful scenery was an immediate perk of serving in the mobile clinics. I started on Flag Day and got to see the Haitians take pride in their country, celebrating with parades and music. At first I struggled in the pharmacy because I couldn’t read what the doctors wrote on the prescriptions, but by day two I got the hang of things. The last day of the medical clinic was non-stop, on my feet work, but as I filled and passed out every prescription with a smile on my face and joy in my heart, I was rewarded with the thank yous of the patients with a smile on their face in return.
What was my mission in Haiti?? It’s simple to spread the love of God. I no longer see Haiti or America but my brothers and sisters in Christ. I will never forget the smiles on the faces of the orphans that got stuffed animals, cookies, and candy. I will never forget as we rode by and the stares we got but also hearing the kids say “You, you” or “Ball.” I will never forget Haiti, a country that is now a part of my life. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to come. Haiti will forever be in my thoughts, memories, dreams, and prayers!