by Emily Grabel, Mission Trip volunteer in Haiti
We had the great privilege of spending a lot of time with the children each day, and at both work sites. The children would show up before we arrived and spend the entire day with us. Most of the children would come up to us before we had the opportunity to go to them. Their eyes showed us their hope, their smiles and attitude showed us their joy, and their affection showed us their immediate acceptance of our differences. Instead of us helping them with the language barrier, their limited English helped us to communicate with them. The experience each day was nothing short of amazing and I was humbled in a way I had never before experienced.
What I recognized was how God prepares the way. He watches over children as young as 16-18 months when their parents cannot. The children all the way up to 18 years of age and beyond would look out for one another whether they were family or not. It was a beautiful example of how the Haitian people rely on one another and can be counted on. It was a beautiful reflection of how our Big God watches out for us and how we can trust in Him and count on Him. My heart was broken and filled at the very same time. Imagine allowing your baby to leave your house and not having any idea where they were all day, because you are doing whatever you can to provide for your family. Imagine your child wandering around a neighborhood with no food or water all day. It is difficult to imagine, but it is the only choice they have.
I witnessed tiny children caring for one another. Sharing bits of food and water when they would find it. Not selfishly holding onto what they had, but giving it away. Giving and receiving from one another daily. This is normal. This is their way.
We had large coolers of water all day long, while they had nothing. Lunch would be provided for us and the kids would know it. They would start pointing and pushing us toward our meal. Meanwhile they would have nothing, and wait patiently for us to finish so that we would play with them again. The little ones would wait for Carly to appear and flock her like sheep to a shepherd. Crawling all over her with gigantic smiles and love. We would feel awful, but could not give to them in order to maintain peace because they knew the food was not for them. This is how they grow up. When we did have the opportunity to share, they would take and do the same for one another. A reflection of God's provision.
We witnessed adults parenting children in their sight, whether they were their own or not. The children would not disrespect them, but immediately listen and obey. An example of how we are to listen and obey our heavenly Father.
We witnessed teenagers caring for one another, not competing to be number one.
The older kids would engage with us as much as the younger ones would. They couldn't wait to share their hopes and dreams, and they all have hopes and dreams.
The team of young Haitian men from Experience Mission would not only look out for our well being, but also of the well being of the children. Twice I witnessed them reach into their pocket and give what little money they carried to an older child who asked. I can't begin to explain how that gesture changed my outlook on giving generously and without question. I count myself blessed to have noticed the compassion, the kindness, the gentleness that was done in secret. Not for our benefit, but for the benefit of mankind. In my opinion, this is how we are all to live, and this is the way Haitian children have hope in the most dire of situations. God clothes his chosen people with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Whatever we are hungry for, He provides.
If you have a heart for kids and have ever or never considered a mission trip, please face the fear that holds you back and experience a mission unlike anything you could ever imagine.
We are ALL God's children. We all have the ability to meet the needs of one another.
I give all thanks and praise to our Father in heaven for showing us how He loves us.
I am confident that I now have a clear understanding of God's word when he says in Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."
We can make the choice to have joy like a child. The world tells us to grow up, but Jesus tells us to come to Him with the same innocent faith of a child.
LEARN MORE | Bring your team on a Mission Trip to Haiti!
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Your online account will allow you to access donation receipts and allocation information. After you complete your donation, a temporary username and password will be emailed to you.
You must have a group size of at least 6 members to join this trip. Please view the Small Team trips or call our Servicing Department for more options at 888-475-6414.
For most trips, you must have a group size of at least 6 members. Please view the Small Teams tab on each Community page or call our Servicing Department for more options at 888-475-6414.