I wrote the below the week I returned (I was supposed to share in church, but had lost my voice)…
Every time I visit a new country, it seems I leave a little bit of my heart there.
This time, I left a huge chunk of my heart in Haiti.
I'm not exactly sure why… I've been processing to figure it out.
Maybe it was the blatant poverty that is apparent as soon as you cross the border into Haiti.
Maybe it was the sea of yellow ribbons on all the students I finally got to meet in real life after watching so many videos of them from my comfortable home in Canada. Those kids were almost like celebrities in my mind!
But I do know that God pretty clearly showed me how my teacher's heart, my passion for photography and my involvement in the art industry could all come together to help some of the most needy I've ever seen.
On the final day in Haiti, the school had a farewell party for us… this is something they only do a few times each year as there are sadly not a lot of Live Different groups that go to Haiti… it is expensive and far more physically demanding than other trips.
As we arrived to the party, the Christian principal and teachers led the students in singing "How Great Thou Art" in English for us… it took everything in me to not go into ugly cry while listening and knowing how harsh their lives really are living in the slums of Haiti.
Following a bit of a presentation (they LOVE Canadians by the way!), we were given the opportunity to serve the children a huge plateful of rice, beans and a small piece of chicken. As each child ate, I walked around taking a good look (and some photos) of each and every student… saying a silent prayer for each one that God would somehow help them meet their daily needs of shelter, clothing, food and yes, even education.
I will never forget those beautiful children, their smiles and their hugs… nor do I want to. So now I'm figuring out what is my "do something" that I can still do for this vast need in Haiti.
So since writing the above, I have processed even more and am excited to say I have come up with some ways to further to help this school in Haiti as they struggle to continue building their school (we helped build the 5th classroom while there) and offer education to more and more needy students!!! So be sure to watch for the details for that and see how YOU can also get involved :)
Meanwhile, here is a short video of our trip to both Dominican to build a home and Haiti to build the school. While watching, I challenge YOU to think about… "What is YOUR do-something"???