Serving in Haiti

After moving to Pennsylvania, I took quite a while to find a church community to be a part of.  During my time of searching, I visited a mennonite church in Souderton, PA where I became friends with a youth pastor/missionary.  Come to find out, this woman was the director of a non-profit organization in Haiti.  Hope for Health under Tree of Life International seeks to provide education and resources to empower people in the movement of eradicating malnutrition.  Initially Hope for Health did mobile clinics in surrounding bush villages in the Fond Des Blancs region of south western Haiti, but as the organization grows and people learn about it, the director has had the opportunity to train groups throughout Haiti and in the Dominican Republic to continue this work.

After about a year and a half of sharing with me about her work in Haiti and trying to convince me to go along on a trip, I went.  I don't know why it took me so long to agree that I would join her.  Looking back it's like I was sleeping.  I don't even recall reasons why I wouldn't go nor do I remember what woke me up but I had no idea what she was offering me.  It was like anytime she asked me to go, it went in one ear and out the other.  I remember agreeing to go along with her and the team in June of 2014 but I wasn't super excited about it until I shared with a dear friend that I was going to Haiti for a week.  She said many encouraging things but the most impactful was when she said, "That's great!  I've never been there but I've heard that Haiti is the 'Africa of the Caribbean.'" It was that instant that my eyes and ears were opened!  Really?!  For a year and a half God had been tapping my shoulder, waiting for me to receive an opportunity to experience something similar to Africa without actually traveling half way around the world?  I felt dumb.  Why was I so stubborn?

I went to Haiti that June and I kid you not, as I looked out the window of the airplane after arriving in Port au Prince, I was in love!  The love deepened with each moment as I grew hungry to know everything there was to know about this beautiful, terrible, broken, beloved country.  God has blessed me tremendously with enabling me to return to Haiti five more times over the next year and a half!  Each time, my love grew for Haiti and its people and each time I sensed the Lord leading me back there.  God used my times in Haiti and helping in a semi leadership role with Hope for Health to grow me and challenge me and teach me so many valuable things.

If you would like to know more about the work that Hope for Health does, there is a link on the home page.  You can get involved as well!  I would be happy to connect you with the right person if you have interest in being on a team.  They travel there at least four times per year for at least one week sometimes  longer.  We have begun to incorporate other education that contributes to the issues of malnutrition as well.  Such area is that of male/female reproduction, anatomy, self defense, and child raising.  Hope for Health has begun to incorporate curriculum from Days for Girls.  Site link available on the home page.

As I continue to spend time reflecting on the last few years, I will include some stories from my times in Haiti.  I look forward to sharing those with you and I hope they will inspire you to pursue something the Lord has laid on your heart that might not look like the perfect picture you imagined it being. 

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