Mere words are not enough to adequately express my feelings about my first trip to Haiti. It is hard to write this testimonial, because how do you put into words an experience that has changed your life so profoundly?
When the earthquake in Haiti first happened, I knew I had to do something. I wanted to help, I just didn’t know what or how. Sure, I donated money and clothing to a few organizations, but I felt it wasn’t enough; I wanted to “DO” something. I wanted to make a difference! So, when the opportunity to go to down there with People for Haiti presented itself, I jumped at the chance. “Finally, I would get a chance to give of myself and my time to these people who have so little.” Now, I’ve lived in poor countries and I’ve seen poverty, homelessness, etc., even in my own country, or so I thought… I hadn’t seen anything! I thought I was prepared. I thought I had a notion of what it might be like, but in reality I had no idea and it affected me a lot more than I ever thought possible. I fell in love with Haiti and with the people, especially the kids from the orphanage.We have no idea how lucky we are in this country, how much opportunity we have. In the U.S., no matter what our economic situation is, we all have access to the basics; we want for nothing. The Haitian people have little or nothing. Two years after the earthquake, hundreds of thousands still live in tent cities or in conditions more deplorable. Many do not have access to education, medical care or even the most basic human need, potable drinking water. This is unacceptable in today’s world. However, I was blown away by the attitude, resiliency and incredible spirit of the Haitian people. They’ve been knocked down so many times, but they just get back up again and keep on going. They won’t give up. It was amazing to see how just a small gesture from a hug to a piece of candy to a simple pair of reading glasses made such a difference in someone’s life.
All the doctors, nurses and lay people who volunteer their time and energy for this cause are incredible! I am in awe of each and every one of you. This January mission was the 13th for People for Haiti. What an amazing organization it is! I feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to participate in such an important mission and to have met so many selfless people. Thank you to everyone both from the States and in Haiti who participated; I hope to see you again on another mission. A special thanks to Mike and Bonnie as well for the love, support and dedication they give to PFH and the kids at Carbaret Baptist Home. I can’t wait to go back down there!