I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying summer. It’s hard to believe that the mid point of the season is just around the corner, hoping you all have a great 4th of July!
I have been home from Haiti for just over a week now. As you might have guessed, my third trip was just as wonderful as the previous. Sometimes in life you’re graced with this incredible moment when unreal circumstances, suddenly become tangible. Being in a place like Haiti can often feel like you’re watching a movie from afar, but for me it doesn't any longer, being in Haiti just feels like home. There’s always a newness, something God is showing me, but I feel like I am truly present in each moment. For me, this trip stands out as the first time I have been able to return to a place where I felt true investment. While my second trip was incredibly meaningful, I still traveled to a new place in Haiti, however, this summer I was able to return to Bohoc. There is something really special about returning to a place you have served before, you know the people and you have played with the children. I experienced quit a few special moments as well as new experiences!
While in Bohoc, our team of 23 singles leaders had four projects: painting dormitories at the Haitian American Friendship Foundation (HAFF), weighing & providing nutrition to malnourished children, construction on a local church, and working with children in local orphanages and the community. Before we left for Bohoc though, we spent our first evening at an orphanage in Port au Prince. New Life Orphanage is run by Americans and is a garden of Eden in the middle of hectic PAP. We couldn't have asked for a better start for the week! We left for Bohoc Saturday morning and just as in December, the 90 mile trek took close to 8 hours. We arrived at the guest house and I was assigned the same room I called home six months ago! On Sunday we attended church in Bohoc, a new and special experience for me. We spent the afternoon at a local orphanage giving out as much love as we could. For the rest of the week we spent our mornings on the projects at HAFF and working on Pastor George's church. After lunch we spent our afternoons working with children. One very special moment came for me on Monday afternoon, you can read more about that special day on our team blog here.
To be honest, I am still trying to process everything. I'm getting into the grove of life in America. It's funny (especially for this only child) how quickly you get used to waking up with 23 family members, all enjoying quiet time with the Lord and then meeting for breakfast. Nights filled with ethnic dinners, family worship and card games follow days of hard work and hard play. There's a quote we learned on our trip, 'Haiti will break your heart and never give you back all the pieces." Each time I go to Haiti, I give away a few pieces of my heart, to my "Haiti family" and to the Haitian people. I can't get those pieces back and I wouldn't want them anyway.
The question you all really want to know is, "How was Haiti?" Lately, I answer with "incredible" and then, if you're lucky, I give a rundown of our projects. Here's what really happened in my heart though; God broke me. I felt the beautiful burden of being called to a broken country. Our gracious Lord filled my heart with joy and wonder that He would call messy and imperfect me to Haiti. Haiti, a nation that is broken but resilient, dark but fighting for joy. I get to give my heart, time and energy to this incredible place.
So, how was Haiti? Well, we did a lot of work. We built a lot of relationships. We played with the most wonderful kids. We created a family. We had our hearts broken. We had our lives changed. We felt God move. We had the privilege of seeing the future of Haiti in the youth. While I'm still processing it all, I can leave you with this though: there is a bright future for Haiti. They have not lost hope and you shouldn't either. Hope for Haiti. Pray for Haiti.
Thank you again for being part of my journey. Your support and partnership was continuously felt.
My precious Ensesca girl, who you'll hear plenty more about!
Eloch, the best driver in ALL of Haiti