My mission trips to Haiti were the times in my life when I felt like I was doing God’s work. The work He commanded us to do. “And he (Jesus) said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” – Mark 16:15
Even as an early Christian, I knew God was calling me to missionary work. I didn’t even know that was a thing until I talked to a friend about what I thought God wanted me to do. He got in me in touch with a group called 13forHaiti and I went. I jumped at the opportunity to go on trips to Haiti and help in any way that I could.
13forHaiti was spreading the gospel and helping grow a church in Paillant, Haiti.
My Trips to Haiti
A few days before my first trip, everyone who was going to Haiti gathered together to prepare ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually. The leaders showed us pictures of previous trips and told us what we were going to be doing. They told us what to pack and made sure we knew not to expect hot water in a third-world country.
I was so nervous on the flight to Haiti. I never had to fill out customs information before and I had no idea what to expect once we landed. With my bundle of nerves, I got off the flight and went through the customs line at the Haitian airport with the rest of my group. I looked to the group leaders for guidance in this strange new culture.
First, we met our translator who lead us up the mountain from Port-au-Prince into Paillant. The car ride through the city and up the mountain was enlightening. People were living in tents and houses made out of tarps and pieces of sheet metal. Garbage lined the streets and everyone wore dirty clothes with no shoes. When we arrived at our rental house, we settled in and ate rice with black bean sauce, and then talked about what the plan was for the week.
Throughout four separate week-long mission trips, I was able to wash kids’ feet and put new shoes on them, hand plates of food to starving children, give multiple people their first Bible, pray with and for strangers, deliver necessary medical supplies, help build benches for school children, and played soccer with a bunch of kids who rarely get the chance to just be kids.
I attended the church that 13forHaiti was helping to grow and support. I participated in a women’s Bible study group that a translator was present for and realized that I had a lot in common with the women there. We struggled with some of the same things and we were able to encourage one another.
The culture shock got easier to adjust to after the first trip because I knew what to expect. However, every trip I got to learn more about Haitian customs and specifics about their culture. I built friendships with people there that I was able to sustain through Facebook even after I was home.
What I Learned On My Trips to Haiti
I learned that even though our cultures are drastically different, we have something in common – God.
He gave His only Son to give us a way back to Him after the fall. You, me, the people in the Haiti and all over the world.
Sometimes we can get tunnel vision in America, so I encourage anyone who is able to travel and spread the gospel to those who don’t have it as readily available as we do.
Due to the political conflicts in Haiti, the group hasn’t made any recent trips. However, they still council the church in Paillant and support them financially with funds from the Thirteen Thrift Store in Conway, SC.