Happy Friday! As I am learning to become accustomed to my life in America again I wanted to take some time to reflect on my time spent in Haiti. So here it goes…
43 weeks ago, I found myself standing in front of about 200 students. All staring at me with big beautiful eyes and bright heart-warming smiles. There were so many of them, I had no idea how I would keep up with them all. Little did I know what was soon to come. They are no longer just beautiful faces – they’re friends. They’ve welcomed me into their lives, introduced me to their families, to their friends, and to their culture. They asked about my life, they wanted to know about my family, about my fluffy dog, they were curious to know about how I live my life in my country. Now I know them by name and I can tell you who most of them are just by the way they walk or how they sit. I know their tricks, I know their personalities, I know their struggles, and I’ve tried my best to really get to know each and every one of them. I can tell you that Sandrine has the biggest heart out of anyone I’ve ever met. She’s friends with everyone because she cares. She loves to be silly and make you laugh but she also makes sure to give you a hug when you’re having a bad day. Then there is Herby, such a sweet, loving, and smart guy. He works hard in school and gives it all he has, but he is very shy. You have to break him out of his shell and make him feel comfortable, then he will be sure to impress you. And there is Pascal… a guy that loves art and music, but the country he lives in prevents him from pursuing what he loves because there are no opportunities for artist. He wants to be able to help his family and community get out of poverty so he’s doing what he loves in his spare time and working hard in school every day to achieve his goals.
There’s also Junior and Stenio, the class clowns, but don’t let that fool you because they are two of the smartest in their class. I can’t forget Aisha and Jennica, the two little girls who want to be your friend so badly that they’ll work extra hard in class so they will be able to talk to you. And then there’s Andjohnie, the tall, beautiful, smart, classy girl that represents her school so perfectly. There are 210 more amazingly unique individuals at IPEPH that I could talk about forever. They’re the kids who have all the odds against them to fail – but they see that as an opportunity to prove to the world that they can do it, that they can succeed. I’m so thankful that I now can look into their eyes and know them… I see successful businessmen, doctors, lawyers, and engineers. I look into their eyes and I see the brilliant kids who will change Haiti. It won’t be me or you or the many great organizations working in Haiti, we are just the ones believing in them and giving them the resources they need to reach their goals. They are the change Haiti is in desperate need of – hard working individuals that never give up and always have that bright heart-warming smile on their faces. I can only hope that I have helped them see that they are perfectly capable of succeeding. No matter where you come from, work hard, trust in the Lord and great things will come of it. If they ever feel like they can’t do it, they know they can give me a call. Because I believe in them and I am so proud of them and I know they can do it. I can’t wait for the day to come when they have accomplished their goals and I look them in those big beautiful eyes and say, I told you so. The best thing about my time in Haiti? The people. They never fail to give me all of their love and happiness.
We have accomplish many things in the classroom, but we have accomplished many things out of the classroom as well. Back in September we had this crazy idea to build a family their first real home. Then step by step it became a reality. We started a gofundme, raised the money we needed to get started, met with the boss to draw the plans, started gathering rocks and buying supplies, built the foundation, finished the floors, added the walls, put on the roof, delivered the bed frames and mattresses, installed the doors and windows, and after some finishing touches the family will soon be moved in. Just another example of how a small idea can change someone’s life forever. For us we aren’t changing the world, we’re just changing the world for 7 people. And that’s a start. (I have attached pictures of the almost completed project!)
I could go on forever about the many blessings God has sent me on this wonderful journey, I have learned far more than I could’ve ever taught. I have grown in my faith and I can’t wait to continue to share all the things God has revealed to me. I couldn’t have done this without all of your prayers and support, you were the ones to keep me going and I can’t thank you enough for that.
It’s weird being back and it’s definitely going to take some time to adjust. It’s difficult to have your heart in one place and your body in another. But I know where I am right now is exactly were God wants me to be and He is with me through the whole process – whether I’m in Nashville or Haiti, He’s always guiding me.
Thanks for going on this crazy adventure with me… until next time!