Report by Sarah Carter
From the moment the pilot announced that we were beginning our descent into Port au Prince and I strained my neck to see out the window from my aisle seat, I had a feeling that Haiti would soon hold a special place in my heart. My family and friends who visited Haiti before shared amazing things about the country, its people, and the incredible experience that would lie ahead of me. I was so excited as we exited the plane, braved the busy baggage claim area, and navigated our overloaded carts full of luggage through crowds of persistent vendors and taxi drivers. When it was finally time to make the hour-long trek from the airport to Z’Orange, I was introduced to Gabriel, this monstrosity of a truck that a few of us would need to ride in on our drive up the mountain. I found myself volunteering to ride in the back of Gabriel with Ashley, Byron, LaRonda, Matt, Janesha, and Mr. Fred. As I put on my head scarf and face mask to fend off the dust, I began second-guessing my decision. However, this ride turned out to be the greatest way I could start my adventure in Haiti! I vividly experienced the sounds, smells, and sights of the country that would typically be inhibited during a traditional car ride.
Fast forward to the next day, and we were finally able to fellowship with the Haitian community in worship. We attended two church services, and I am convinced that through this experience we were able to glimpse a little bit of what heaven will be like. Although I come from a completely different country, culture, and language background, these worship services were incredible reminders that – despite our cultural differences – we all serve the same God. We even sing some of the same songs! It was during the moments when we were worshipping, and you could hear our English voices intermingled with Haitian Creole, that I thought, “Wow, this must be a piece of heaven” – when all of our brothers and sisters from across the world are together praising and worshipping God in their own way. I have a feeling the energy and excitement that infuses Haitian services might be a tradition I’d like to adopt in heaven!
It’s only fitting that I conclude with my experience today – our first day of service. My mom and I led Vacation Bible School, which coincided with our medical team’s outreach. We sang cheesy, energetic songs with the children, shared Bible stories with them, and facilitated crafts. We had such a blast! Our medical team members are rock stars! They saw over 200 patients, prescribed medications, and gave out piles and piles of clothes, shoes, and reading glasses. It was such a blessing being able to interact with people in the community while also meeting some of their needs – and most importantly, being able to share the love of Jesus with every person we met. I’m only a few days into this trip, and I can already see how God is working in the community and within our team. What an honor and blessing it is to have this amazing opportunity to serve!
In Him, Sarah