I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since I have gotten back from Haiti! I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to tell you all about it. It was such an impacting trip, that trying to find the right words to describe it has been nearly impossible. But, I figured you were anxious to hear about it, so I thought I would try.
First of all, thank you so much for donating towards the trip. I can’t explain how much it meant to me. It was the coolest thing ever reaching out to people, and to see the money just poured in. God definitely took care of me, but it wouldn’t have happened without your willing heart, so thank you very much for that. ❤
We had a red eye flight to our layover destination in Miami, Florida. From there we took an hour and 45 minute flight to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Flying over Haiti is heart wrenching. As you land, looking out the window all you see is piles of dirt, rubble and trash, along with rows and rows of shacks, that people call their home.
Driving down the streets is even worse. People everywhere are dirty and sweaty, there’s trash all over the ground, livestock is roaming around the streets, and there’s people, mainly women, carrying huge buckets of water and fruit on their head. Even little kids are hauling huge containers of water. All of these sights mixed with the blazing heat and humidity, and especially the smell, which is indescribable; let’s just say driving through town was a bit overwhelming.
Another thing I realized, is that in Haiti driving laws don’t exist. No one wears seat belts, there are no stop lights or signs, there is in a sense no specific right way or lane on the roads, and half the roads aren’t even paved. Plus, people honk as a way to say hello, or heads up I’m passing you.
One of the things that I thought was crazy was the amount of poverty and beauty within a few miles from each other. Another thing Haiti is known for is it’s thunderstorms. As a welcoming gift into the country, we were hit with one during our two and a half hour bus ride to the compound where we were going to stay. The good thing about it though, was that it cooled down the weather immensely! We finally got to the compound where we were staying and it was gorgeous! The property consisted of a guest house, where we stayed, an outdoor chapel, a medical clinic, three or four buildings for dorms for the various camps that are held on the property, many storage containers to hold food, tons of gardens, and even a fish pond where tilapia are bred. The goal of all of these projects, are to see what works and what doesn’t, to ultimately see what is efficient to take into the community. Every night we had a time to reflect on what had happened that day, journal time, bonding time as a team, and then we would always end with worship.
On friday we went out to a nearby village called Laby, and spent close to 3 hours with the kids. We worshiped, taught them about God, played jump rope, soccer, parachute, and even had a dance party. I forgot to mention the main way of travel in Haiti is to ride in the back of a truck. So, whenever we went into town, or to a nearby village, we all piled in the back of trucks, standing up (with railings thankfully), and traveled down the unpaved roads of Haiti. The kids started arriving at the compound Saturday night for the vacation bible school, and once they arrived everything turned into a blur. All day for three days we got to play non stop with kids, dance with them, hold them, love on them, worship with them, and teach them about Moses. By the time we would go to bed, we would be so exhausted, only to hear them the next morning at 6am, already fully energized and running around laughing and screaming outside.
My favorite part was bonding with the kids. As soon as I would step outside off the porch of the house, I had kids running up to me and jumping on me ready to go dance or play. It’s hard to name one favorite out of 200 kids because they are all so precious but if I could name a favorite, it would be a little four year old named Bianca. She was my little monkey. She was the first kid I met, and she was my hardest goodbye. Every time I saw her she would run up to me, a big smile on her face, with her thumb in her mouth ready to be picked up. She loved singing, dancing and had the craziest personality.
The best part about being with these kids was the love and joy you felt from being with them. They never ran out of energy, never didn’t have a smile on their face, and never stopped loving you. They were always taking care of us too. Obviously it was hot and I sweat really easily, but I would be jumping around dancing with the kids and this one girl would come up to me and would reach up with her hand and wipe the sweat off my face. We went to Haiti ready to bless and serve those kids, but I think they blessed us more than we did them.
The best part about being with these kids was the love and joy you felt from being with them. They never ran out of energy, never didn’t have a smile on their face, and never stopped loving you.
The other huge thing for me about this trip was finding myself, and my relationship with God. I went to Haiti not sure of myself and not on good terms with God at all. I honestly didn’t want anything to do with Him. The first night we got to Haiti we had worship. I’m not emotional at all, nor do I cry in front of people, but I’m sitting at the table listening to worship and I had to stop signing because I was about to cry, and I didn’t know why. The next night we were out in the chapel for worship and I wrote in my journal that I feel like I’m trying to get to God but every time I try taking a step, an obstacle comes my way and I smack my face on it, and fall backwards again.
That night I ended up talking with one of the leaders that went on the trip with us, and I explained to him that I want God, but I don’t know how to get there. I was explaining that I’ve always been a christian because it’s how I was raised and part of me wants that life, but part of me doesn’t. He was talking to me and he said, there comes a time when you need to make your relationship with God your own. It can’t be your parents or your friends anymore, it has to be yours.
There comes a time when you need to make your relationship with God your own. It can’t be your parents or your friends anymore, it has to be yours.
That night I wrote in my journal that I wanted to see God. I wanted to experience Him. I wanted a relationship with Him. I wanted to be wrecked by Him. What does that scripture in Matthew say, “Ask and it will be given to you”? Sure enough God gave me exactly what I asked for. Whether it was the endless nights of amazing messages and worship, or sitting around genuinely talking to people, going to a Haitian church Sunday morning, or walking through a hospital, spending endless amounts of time with the kids or seeing their contagious joyful faces, there was never a moment I didn’t feel God.
The coolest thing was feeling the change in myself. I have never felt so happy, and so close to God. Also, I haven’t voluntarily opened up my bible or prayed in a long time, and one morning we had quiet time and I opened up the bible and read it, and then was praying and I started crying because I felt God, which is something that had not happened in a long time. I will forever remember this trip as the moment my faith stopped being about others, and became my relationship with God.
John 15:12-13 “This is My command: love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.”
Matthew 16:15 “But you, he asked them, Who do you say that I am?
Thank you again to everyone who helped make this trip possible. I can’t wait to return!
~ Kami Crume, 2015