Editor’s Note: This is the final post from the Haiti Mission Team. You can read about their entire trip here.
Submitted by Kathryn Berlin
I have one complaint about this trip: we have to leave so soon. That, and our flight was delayed four hours–our time in Haiti has proved to test and improve our patience until the very end. Since discussing our time playing card games to pass the time in the airport won’t be very exciting, I am going to use this post to wrap our experience in Haiti.
Like many people, my conception of Haiti before I came here was largely shaped by pictures and news footage of Port au Prince- tent cities, impoverishment, trash littering crowded streets, malnourishment, etc. While many of these images came to life this week, this narrow minded perspective does not represent Haiti. Haiti is beautiful. Since we worked in a remote, rural community, we saw a great deal of the country en route to our site. The views of mountains, valleys, beaches, and tropical foliage matched with warm weather was paradise- a word I had never associated with Haiti before now.
The people we met this week reflect this beauty. I think that often times, God feels sad when he looks down at Yvon, because he is forced to see children go another day without water, not attend school because they went to bed with no food, families losing loved ones to preventable diseases, young adults leaving their community in search of opportunity in the cities. I think that his heart felt very full this week when he looked down on Yvon. He got to see kids getting to be kids– playing soccer and baseball, blowing bubbles, coloring, doing puzzles, and singing Bible songs. He watched elderly women work alongside men in the trenches, helping to build their new church. He saw friendship and laughter being communicated between strangers with no common language. It was the picture of community, perfected by communion in Christ. The insight, generosity, respect, and love that has been shown to us by the UMVIM staff, Pastor Maud and her household (our hosts), and the people of Yvon has been overwhelming.
Finally, this experience would not be what it was without the contribution of each of our team members. My favorite people are low maintenance and funny. I got to live with nine people who meet that exact description this week. Each of us brought unique gifts, and watching everyone use those different gifts in service together was inspiring.
I am so for grateful for this week! Thank you for your prayers and support during our travels.