"If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice? - David Livingstone
In August of 2013, I went on my first mission trip to Jacmel, Haiti. I was so excited about the trip and all that God had in store for my team and I. However, immediately after leaving the airport in Port-Au-Prince and beginning the 3 hour journey up the small curved streets and steep mountainsides towards Jacmel, I was confronted with the reality of life there. Honestly, the poverty, filth, and trash overwhelmed me, leaving me feeling sad, and completely helpless. Little did I know, my experiences over the next week would not only change my life, but ignite my passion for service like never before.
I quickly returned to Jacmel just a few months later in January of 2014, again in January of 2015, and in March of 2015, for the first time, I served in Bamboo, Jamaica. On each trip, we visited the local villages, hospitals, and orphanages, held VBS, and/or nightly revivals - all while sharing the love of Christ with the locals. In May of 2014 and 2015 I traveled domestically to New York City for mission trips that focused on reaching out to the homeless on the streets and providing makeovers to women in homeless shelters in Brooklyn, many who were burdened with mental illness and substance abuse issues, giving them makeovers while also ministering to their spiritual needs.
Every single trip has been amazing in it's very own way, however, there is just something very special about what God is doing in Haiti... On one trip, while visiting the only hospital in Jacmel at the time, we came to the door of the pediatric area, and our host decided it was best for us not to enter. We stood outside the door of this one room building and began to pray. As we heard the cries of the children just on the other side of the door, we began to cry out to the Lord on their behalf. Just as my emotions were beginning to overtake me, I heard another sound, and began to walk away from the group towards it. As I rounded the corner of the building, I realized it was the sound of crashing waves hitting the shore, just down below from where we stood. Through my watery eyes, I stared at the sand, then the waves, then the vastness of the ocean, then the mountains, and the trees, and then finally, with my chin that was once down, now up, I looked towards the sky. At this moment I realized that even in the midst of the pain and despair there - God, in all of his glory and splendor - was also there. I could see him in the blue hues of the water, in the greens of the trees, I could feel his breathe in the breeze blowing across my skin, and I could hear him in the sounds of the waves beating upon the shore. All this gave me the one thing I lacked while heading up the mountain, but that I now had - HOPE. Hope that those babies were all in his hands, that we ALL are in his hands. It is this hope that drives me to serve, love and share Christ with both Haitians and Dominicans in my new season…
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you… In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind." - Job 12:7-8,10 NIV