Report by Caroline Hooker
It’s awesome to be back in Haiti! God has blessed me with wonderful family and friends who have supported this trip in so many ways. When I left Haiti in April, I told the children and families I would be back (I am sure they have heard that before). On Thursday morning when they saw me, their faces gleamed with joy – I was so glad to see them, and they were happy to have me come back to visit. It’s amazing that after 6 months they still call you by name and are so happy to see you. The people of Haiti are the most welcoming and loving people I have ever met.
Yesterday (Thursday) and today (Friday) we have been taking pictures of children who have been sponsored by people back home. These children are so thankful that they are sponsored. It is amazing to see how excited they are to have their picture taken, write a note or color a picture for their sponsor, and get a piece of candy and a solar light. Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible; the children will now be able to see at night to study.
There are many children here who need sponsoring. If you have not sponsored a child, please consider doing so. To see the Christian education these students are getting is wonderful! The students are led in prayer before school starts; it would be wonderful to see the student in the US be allowed to pray before they start school each day. There are older students who want to attend school but are unable to due to the cost, as well as getting a uniform. These students have stood up for themselves and asked for a sponsor – it blows my mind how many of the students (18-22 years old) want a Christian education!
Today we got to spend some time with the child that we sponsor. TEM is such a wonderful blessing to these children. It is so exciting to get to see the child that you personally sponsor and spend time with them. Showing these children love and holding them is a joy that no one will ever understand unless you see it first hand. Loving on the young boy that my family sponsors, showing him pictures of my family, and praying with him was only one of the highlights of this trip.
During the day, we were able to pass out handmade dresses and shorts from a group of ladies in Walterboro, SC (thank you so much, ladies, for providing for these children). I can’t wait to share the pictures of the children getting their clothes; they were ecstatic! We also passed out shoes to the children. These poor children walk on rocks and HARD clay all day – many have no shoes, or they have shoes that are falling apart. To see these children light up when they are given a new pair of shoes is something that I cannot describe.
We spent the afternoon playing with the children and visiting families. They have really enjoyed the soccer balls and just having fun hanging out and singing songs. Love is a universal language! These people know that we all love them and care about them. Hearing these sweet voices sing “Jesus Loves Me” in English and Creol is amazing!
If someone had told me 10 years ago that I would be going to Haiti on mission trips and I would LOVE it, I might have thought they were crazy. God has blessed me in so many ways; coming to Haiti and share God’s love is one way that I feel truly blessed, and I feel like I can give back. As Americans, we take so many things for granted; these people in Haiti take nothing for granted. Thank you, Brother Chuck, for all you do for the Haitian people,and for providing us the opportunity to come share with them. Thank you, Lisa and Clint, for putting together the sponsorships for the children and keeping it going. I cannot wait to continue my journey here, and I am already looking forward to coming back. God bless you all!