On June 30, 2018 a group of us went to Neply, Haiti to serve the villagers and share the Gospel. I know what your thinking…
Why would you want to go to Haiti?
That was the question I got asked the most.
As many know, Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and among the poorest in the world. What you guys don’t know, is how loving, caring and content the villagers are. When we got to Haiti we didn’t really know what to expect. We only had 2 expectations that we talked about. God will show up, and to expect the unexpected, and we sure did.
We got to spend 10 wonderful days here. Originally, this was only supposed to be a week long trip, but God gave us a few extra days. My church (Woodland Community Church) got to partner with a ministry named myLIFEspeaks. MyLIFEspeaks is committed to creating a ripple effect throughout the country of Haiti. They provide family empowerment, special education and public health. MyLIFEspeaks was holding a soccer camp the week that we arrived. We were very lucky to be part of that. Not gonna lie, it got competitive. These kids never went through a practice or even played a real game before so it was so neat just watching them have tremendous amounts of fun. My voice may or may not have been gone. Screaming ALE JON (GO YELLOW) for 5 days did make my throat hurt.
We also got to help out in the community. We helped do laundry, sweep, cook, and even paint! People let me tell you, be thankful for your washers and dryers. Washing their clothes was really time consuming and a process. we had to fill two buckets up with well water and mix the detergent into one of the buckets. We then had to hand wash the clothes, scrubbing each side together until all the dirt is off and the clothes are clean. They told us that if you hear a squeaky sound when your rubbing the cloth together, then your doing it right. Well, I never heard it, so I must have been doing it wrong. LOL. We also got to be part of their feeding program. MyLIFEspeaks offers free food and vitamins to the children. This gives the parents time to get things done around the house, and not worrying about where their child’s next meal will come from.
Haitian food is delicious! Everyday for lunch the villagers were selling empanadas, and they were so good. OH MY GOSH, and the MANGO was so fresh and juicy! The fruit was picked locally and you could just tell it was fresh fruit.
The week flew by fast, and we were all sad to leave. Leaving the villagers who we grew a close bond within just days. How accepting, loving, and welcoming they were to us. Knowing that when we go back we won’t be able to spend as much time as we did on daily devotions, and God sightings.
Here’s where things got interesting..
On Saturday, the day before we were leaving, the nation government announced a rise in fuel prices, causing people to protest. We woke up Sunday morning, and left at 4am in hopes the early time would help us avoid protestors and problems on the road. But, we hit multiply roadblocks and decided returning back to the campus was the safest option. When we got back, we just prayed. We knew God had a plan and was in control of all this. Not a thought of fear crossed our minds, if anything we were concerned. We didn’t really know what was going on, but we knew it was part of Gods plan. That day we went back to serving and playing with the kids, trying not to let this ruin our mission. A couple days passed and parents were getting anxious and worried. No one back home really knew the situation and what was actually going on. All the information they were getting was what the news was showing, and the emails that our Pastor sent out. Helicopters were mentioned to come pick us up and fly us to the Airport, but we then heard that another youth group made it to the airport, so we thought we’d try again. It was a success! We got to the airport just in time for our flight back to Tampa. The Haitian airport was jammed packed. It was the first day it was back open since the protests. When we arrived in Tampa we had news reporters waiting for us, and families that wanted hugs. We had so much to tell them. But the one thing we didn’t fail to mention was that, GOD NEVER FAILS.