” You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Last week I had a trip of a life time. A trip that will forever change my life! I was able to take an amazing mission trip to Bercy, Haiti! My trip was eye opening and really did a lot of work in my own heart!
In December of 2018 it was announced that our church ( Church 2:14 ) was going to have a great opportunity to take a mission trip to Haiti. My heart was over joyed when I heard this! I have been wanting to do a mission trip for as long as I could remember! I would pray about having an opportunity to serve others in another country! I took a picture of the contact information right away so I could email Steve to get on the list! When church was over I hurried home to tell Dayton all about it! He was so supportive and said of course you should go! So after I told him how excited I was I went straight to my computer to send my email of excitement!
I didn’t have my passport yet and have never been to another country so I had so much to get ready before I could go on the trip! So I right away made a check list and put a plan together so I was able to go on this amazing trip!
As the weeks came closer and closer to the trip I applied for my passport, made sure my family was taken care of, and got everything in order at work as well. Everything was set and I was ready to go!
Next step… PACKING!!!
Packing for me was so stressful! I didn’t know what to expect and of course their culture in Haiti is different then ours so I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t offend them! I would text all my friends to make sure I was packing the right stuff, and getting their thoughts as well! My friend McKayla was amazing! She has done many mission trips and she walked me through it! Giving me tips, and advice for when I am gone! I am pretty sure I packed and unpacked my bag three or four times before I finally said “Okay I will be fine! And if I forget something… OH WELL!” It’s about the adventure, and the impact I get to make on others while I am there!
Finally the day is here!!! On January 27th we headed to Chicago to stay the night and get ready to fly out on Monday morning! It was definitely different being the one going on a trip instead of Dayton! This time Dayton was calling me the world traveler! I rode up to Chicago with an amazing group of people and made great conversation and got to know each of them more! We weren’t even in Haiti yet and I was connecting with more people from my Church and I couldn’t of been happier! Once we got to the hotel we had a family dinner with some of the others who were staying in the same hotel!
We talked, laughed, and expressed how excited we were to be leaving in the morning.
We all knew one another a little bit before the trip. But after the trip we knew one another better and became a lot closer as the week went on. It was awesome to get to know my church family more and being able to connect with them more as well!
A church family is an amazing feeling. So thankful and blessed to have the church family I do!
Hello 5:30am! Time to head to the airport and catch our flight! Even though it was super early we were all in great moods and so excited to get to Haiti and start our mission trip! It was super snowy and icy! But the bad weather was not going to stop us!
We got to the airport and got all checked in! We all make it through security and now we wait to board the plane! Of course as we are waiting for the plane we all grabbed our Starbucks coffee! Finally it’s time to board, before we did we all gather together and prayed! We prayed for hearts to stay open during our trip, and prayed for save travels! Let the adventure begin!
Oh Wait…. I suppose you need a Pilot to take off right? Yeah.. Ours was and hour late for our flight! So we sat on the plane for extra 2 1/2 hours before we took off! It was frustrating but we all kept good attitudes! After finally taking off we all had a gut feeling that we would miss our connecting flight! When we landed, we have confirmed YES we missed our connecting flight by just 30 mins or so! We were all so sad that we were going to have to stay the night in Miami and not get to Haiti til the next day! But we stayed positive, and had amazing men who negotiated to get us some vouchers for food and hotel rooms. It all worked out in the end!
Round two here we go! We grabbed our coffee, and boarded the plane again! And this time we made it to Haiti! When we got the airport in Haiti I was excited and so nervous! Walking outside of the airport was so overwhelming but we had amazing people from Lifesong that met us there and got us onto our bus safely! Thank you Jesus for them!
As we were on our way to the campus I was speechless. I knew it would be a shock but I was blown away! By how the villages looked, how many people where on the side of the road, what their buildings they lived in looked like, and so much more! But what really hit my heart was how happy they all looked being around each other! That spoke so much to me!
After an 1 1/2 hour drive we finally made it to the campus we were staying at! And all I can say is BEAUTIFUL!
My exceptions I had of the trip was completely blown away! I was expecting to sleep in tents and living in the rough! But we spent the week in wonderful accommodations, and had amazing views out side of our doors and an awesome pool!
When we pulled up to the campus the other half of our group was there waiting to greet us! We were all so excited to see them and hear about their experience already! We started with getting our room assignments so we could get freshened up a then get a tour, and a run down of the daily schedule!
I was super blessed to get roomed with two amazing young women! I would run into them at church every once in awhile but didn’t know them well! So I was excited to be able to get to know them over the next week! And the friendship we formed over the week is unbreakable! To hear their stories, and be able to connect with them and learn about them was incredible! I can’t wait see what God has planned for them and I can’t wait to walk this journey with them! I love Jamie and Carson and I’m looking so forward to getting to know them more and doing life with them!
The first afternoon we were there we had an orientation to just get some back ground information about the campus and what Lifesong was all about! It was so amazing to hear all the good that was coming from this campus! Hands down incredible! Anna was one of the staff members who walked through this journey with us all week! She was incredible! One thing I loved about her is that she wanted us to be able to connect and interact with the Haitians. And that can be difficult because we don’t speak the same language as them! So she was kind enough to give us a lesson and teach us some basic Creole. Here is what we learned!
Bonjour – Good Morning
Bonswa – Good Afternoon / Good Evening
Koman ou ye? – How are you?
Mwen Byen – Im Good
E ou menm? – And you?
Koman ou rele? – What’s your name?
Mwen rele – My name is…
These were the basics we learned to be able to connect a little bit with anyone we interacted it! Even though I slaughtered saying it almost every time they were all so happy to see me try! And that was good enough for them! They would get so excited when we would try to communicate with them!
This first thing we did as a whole group in Haiti was a prayer walk. This is where we went into the village of Bercy to take a tour and take time to pray in certain areas in the village!
When this was first brought up I was so nervous! I wasn’t sure how the Haitians in the village would react to us being there and praying. But boy was I wrong!! Walking and praying brought joy to them! They seemed to look at us like we were bringing light to their village and made us feel so welcomed! It was such an incredible feeling! We got to pray at cross walks, we prayed in the middle of a church that was being build along with the pastor of the church, and we ended praying over our tour guides who were also pastors! I cannot wait to do that again!
Night time and sunrises were two of my favorite times of the day in Haiti! It was a time where we got to reflect on our day as a whole group and see what God was speaking through our hearts. This was a time where I also got to connect with the kids from our church and was able to spend time to just learn about them! We all connected on a level I just can’t put words to! I was so happy they welcomed me into their group! Connecting at night talking, and then having Luke and Tucker wake us up every morning to see the beautiful sunrise and talk about what we are excited to do that day! We were joined by Brody as well each morning! We would do a time-lapse every morning capturing the most beautiful sunrise! Hanging out with the girls and the boys was so much fun! So many laughs, jokes, and great memories! Church 2:14 has amazing kids!
The Lifesong campus had a high school that Haitian kids went to! One of the things our church was able to do was help start building an administration office for the school. So our men worked so hard on this project! They over came challenges they faced and the end result was amazing!
One of my hands down favorite things about this mission trip was going to village 514. This was a village where we were able to interact with younger kids, and just love on them! We brought jump ropes, chalk, uno, and bubbles! As we were walking up they came running to us! They saw something in us that they were so excited for! We were a shining light to them! We were there to play with them and just love on them and they knew that! The looks on their faces were priceless and I will never forget that! We were complete strangers to them but that didn’t matter! They welcomed us with open arms and hearts!
Another fun day was BEACH DAY! A group of us were able to go to the beach and we had a blast! Many memories were made that day! We were able to go to Wahoo Bay Beach Resort! So gorgeous!! There were places to layout, jump on trampolines in the water, and the view was incredible!
One of the best memories I had at the beach was snorkeling! A few of the younger kids wanted to go and they needed an adult to go with them! So in the moment I was appointed the adult! ( I was a kid part of the time and an adult the other part!) So I agreed to take them! We went out on a boat and began our adventure. As we were on the way to our spot we looked around confused because we didn’t have any snorkeling equipment! Once we stopped, the man dumped out the equipment that was in a brown bag. (sketchy) But we decided we were on an adventure and it was worth it!
We were all ready to go and then it was the battle of who was jumping in first! And of course all the kids said since I was the adult I had to go first, so I did! Then Carson came in after me. We started to swim and then all of a sudden Carson screams and starts freaking out! Luke, Jamie, and Bereket were still in the boat asking her what was wrong! I was in the water with Carson starting to freak out too! Carson flew back into the boat so fast and left me alone in the water!! After she stopped laughing and I was finally in the boat freaked out too she finally said there were like three jelly fish!! We were all laughing so hard! So the gentleman took us to another spot where there were no jelly fish! We snorkeled for about 20 mins and then made our way back to the group!
Such a fun adventure!!! I would do it all over again!
One of the nights we were there we were able to talk and hear the stories of two of the students! Their stories were incredible, and I cannot wait to go back to Haiti and see what God has planned for them and see how their life turns out! We asked them how we could pray for them and one of the students asked us to just pray that they stay at Gods feet! INCREDIBLE! Seeing what God is doing in other people all around the world makes me speechless. God is so good!
Pool side is where everyone ended up right before dinner. We would hang out, and talk about anything! We were also accompanied by Mike and Amie ( the people who ran the campus ) and their two boys! We loved seeing them! We spent time with them and their boys everyday! Made the experience even better! Connecting with them and hearing their story was awesome!
I could go on and on about my trip because so many wonderful things have happened! My heart was changed! I will continue to talk about Haiti for months and years to come! Share stories, and show photos! The photos you see now are only half of the ones I took! Maybe in my next post I will just post all my pictures! What do you think?
I have been praying and asking God to let me be the light of the way. And I didn’t really fully understand why or what it meant! But when I was at Village 5:14 and the Village of Bercy it hit me! I am to the be the light of everyone I come across. To point them to Jesus, to love them, even if I don’t speak their language or know them well! Just be the light of Jesus and being someone people can look to at any point in time! And going on the prayer walk seeing people light up when we were praying and just walking around the Holy Spirit showed me that this is what being the light is all about! I am a child of God, and he will use me to light the flame of Jesus in others.
The relationships I made and the adventures and experiences I had will never be forgotten! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me! I am so excited to go back to Haiti and continue building the relationships God has started for me!