Below is a journal entry shared by one of our team members. This was her first trip to Haiti, her first time out of the U.S. and her first backpacking adventure…
Wednesday, April 23
We made it down the mountain yesterday in four hours. It was easier coming down than going up. I did jam my toe, though, and I thank God that it didn’t start hurting until we got back to the school. When we got to the bottom of the mountain, there was on old Courier type pickup that hauled 19 of us and all our gear the last five miles. It was probably 85 to 90 degrees at that time so the truck was a very welcome sight.
God has shown himself to me in many ways throughout this trip. I am extremely vulnerable and open to his instruction and leading. I am completely dependent on him emotionally, physically and spiritually. Sometimes I feel a little out of place to be here with my team because I don’t have a lot to offer, and yet I know that God has brought me to this place and those thoughts are not from him. I continually count on him to lift me up and push me forward.
I am so very thankful that I had a job to do up on the mountain. At first the thought of brushing all those children’s teeth made me very uncomfortable but that is the job that was given to me and was needed. I am so thankful and know that was the best job for me. It was an honor to serve those children in such a close way. I could not speak any of the language but could still communicate God’s love and my love for the children. I got to touch every face and also look into their eyes. There were some pretty bad cases of decay, I suppose from poor hygiene and too much sugar cane, and wish I could have done more. The job that was given to me was the best one of all and I am so very thankful that it worked out that way. Thank you Jesus, my dear friend.
Before coming on this trip, I spent time in prayer & God kept nudging me to commit to going. Once I committed I continued to pray that either a door would be opened or be closed. I suppose in some small way I was hoping it would close and I could go another time, maybe. Well here I am.
I faced many challenges and still haven’t really comprehended all of it. My mind is whirling with thoughts and reflection. I suppose once I get home and look back, I will truly be able to see God’s hand in all of this. My life will be changed though this and I look forward to more opportunities to serve our awesome God.
Although this trip has been difficult, on many levels, I feel it was well worth it. The work being done here is so appreciated by the Haitian people and yet I feel as though I am the one who has been helped the most. I miss my husband and best friend Ron, but know that this was God’s leading to come on my own, without knowing the others. I learned to lean on God and not my husband, to look to Him for strength and encouragement. Though I am weak, I am strong through Him who strengthens me.
We have accomplished much, an eight mile hike up and over hills, lots of rocks and boulders, roughing it, unrecognizable food, (especially the goat brain sauce over rice) muddy baths — with an audience and much, much more. When I look back it will seem overwhelming. How did I ever do it, not on my own but with God. He held my hand one step at a time and I am so very thankful. I am a much stronger person and look forward to see where He leads me next. Maybe in my own country maybe back here, we will see….
This is our last day in Nan Wo and I am sitting on the rooftop watching the gardeners out in the field. The sun is shining down and there is a soft breeze blowing. There are school children attending school in classrooms down below. I am feeling a little sadness to be leaving this place and yet am excited to see my loved ones back home. I am looking forward to a big hug embrace from my husband and my daughter, to let out a big breath and to cry or maybe not. I pray for another blessed day and am thankful for the new friendships that I’ve made.