A picture may say a thousand words, but just in that moment the feeling of love, the feeling of hopefulness, the feeling of happiness, gratefulness for all that God has blessed you with. When I came back home and started to think about my missionary visit to Haiti, I was filled with different kinds of emotions. First and foremost I created a bond that can never be broken with amazing people over in Haiti. I will forever have a Haiti family, forever Haiti will be my second home. The people are so kind, so happy, so welcoming, very hard working.
As I prepare myself to do as much as possible, in the time constraints that we have during our mission I can’t help but feel sadden to see the living conditions of the people in Haiti, the cooking conditions, the health or lack of healthcare for the people of Haiti in the countryside. Still with all these things against them they are GRATEFUL. Just for the little things that we did or said, such as a smile, a hug, a craft activity that we did during the day with the women, young girls, and all other children that attended vacation bible school.
The Haitian community was GRATEFUL for the snack that was provided during VBS, for the vision clinic that we provided, the medical clinic that provide so much needed care in Haiti. There were so many children with open wounds from walking in feces and contaminated water. For me and my team of doctors to be able to dress the wounds made me feel blessed and humble. I felt like God has really sent me where he wanted me to go and I was so glad I accepted the challenge.
Shoes that grow were also given to every child, feeling absolutely humble that I could be apart of something like this; was amazing. Having each child receive shoes this can very well be the start of decreasing infections in children, decreasing injury in children’s feet, and decreasing open wounds on feet & legs. The children were so GRATEFUL to receive backpack for back to school. These backpacks weren’t just your regular backpacks, these were filled with school supplies for the children to get a head start on school.
In Haiti there is this saying “There is always room for one more.” I can hear that in my head as I sit and type the words on the screen. I can hear our friend Wilnot saying it and smiling as we all pile up on the back of the truck; stock with supplies, and anywhere from ten to twelve people. You don’t have to worry we have an EXCELLENT driver, that knows the lay of the land before and after the rain. It doesn’t matter if it’s on the back of trucks in Haiti or on the back of a motorcycle, there is always room for one more. Motorcycles are a popular mode of transportation in Haiti due to the unpaved roads, ditches, holes, mountainous terrains, and steep slopes. On motorcycles, we would see up to six people on one bike, making their daily trips to the market, to the river to take a bath, do laundry, or to work in their own garden if they have one.
As I watched the women of Haiti cook in very harsh conditions my heart felt sad. As a person that knows the dangers of what the women were exposing themselves to, I had wished I could do more. How could I do more, I am just one person, one women, one missionary; for now I will be grateful that God has bless me with the opportunity to be with the women of Haiti. The women were so happy to greet us and show us how their culture prepare meals. It was so awesome to see the chicken being prepared in the big cast iron pot under the three stones and wood fire. Being GRATEFUL seeing the rice and spices being freshly mixed and prepared the same way, but in another room next door.
Coming home and looking back on my trip I feel like telling the world about my experiences. Sure this short story doesn’t scratch the surface of what I experienced and what was given to me by the people of Haiti. I was given so much, a new found appreciation on life. When I look at what people are complaining about; that had not lost a home to a hurricane, or a natural disaster, but just your normal complaining people I feel sad, very sad, but GRATEFUL all at the same time because I am blessed to have the things that so many people take for granted.
The things that people take for granted until they don’t have to live without it, can be something as simple as their home. There are so many people in Haiti living up to nine people in a two bedroom home. When I say home it consist of a dirt floor, no electric, no plumbing, no communication, no water (unless there is a nearby well & someone can fetch water), no beds or maybe one or two, and a straw roof (not tin, some people try to work or get sponsored in order to receive a tin roof). Other things that are taken for granted is having healthcare in the U.S. Yes, for some people it may not be the best healthcare for the individual, but they have healthcare and are able to get services when needed unlike many, many Haitians.
We as Americans don’t think about how blessed we are often enough, we hardly greet people we don’t even know, as opposed to Haitian’s love to greet and welcome you with a smile. We leave the water on while brushing our teeth, taking long and excessive showers not thinking about how blessed we are to have clean water, and drinkable water. We think that we need all the new and expensive cars, home, jewelry, shoes, and clothing in reality none of that matters if you are not first and foremost giving God the honor and praises he deserved for blessing you with all the things that you do have. The things that you have are because of him Jesus Christ and none other. So I ask you next time you don’t have something that you think you deserve….think again and be GRATEFUL for the little things in life.
Be GRATEFUL for the little things, peanut butter sandwich, love, laughter, friends (stateside & faraway), music, long truck rides, prayer and the breath of life.
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