My nursing class was given the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Léogâne, Haiti and although it has only been a couple of weeks since then, there’s not a day that goes by that Haiti isn’t in my heart or mind. As I struggle to try to find the justifiable words to share my experience, I am scrolling through all of my pictures and journal entries from Haiti, reminiscing on all of the great moments lived with greater people. I can’t help but to think of the abundant amount of love that I experienced and witnessed within each person I encountered. I would like to thank Haiti and its beautiful people for welcoming us with arms wide open. I would also like to thank the NurseTim foundation, the translators, all of the FSIL nursing students, my nursing class, and everyone who played a part in making this trip unforgettable. From day one, love was embedded in each smile we gave and planted in each wave we received. I have never experienced such infectious love and am deeply moved by how much it can do for a person.
Going into my first mission trip, I had no idea of what God had prepared for me. I had feelings of overwhelming excitement, but also a whole lot of fear. In a small country overcrowded with impoverished people who don’t even have their basic needs met, I feared that I would leave the country not making a single difference. I figured we would provide families with food and essential life supplies, but once it was all gone, they were back to how they were in the first place, with nothing; meanwhile, we were back in America with more than what we needed. Regardless, I trusted God in His plan and arrived with an open mind to try to make a sufficient difference in a life.
Being there, I experienced a lot of things I expected such as appreciate what I have and don’t take things for granted. Even more so than that, I never thought my life would be so impacted by the act of love. Through their actions, lifestyles, way of communicating and more, Haitians taught me to love MORE. It’s an act that seems so easy in which God calls us to do and while we have it all here in America, we struggle to simply love thy neighbor as we do ourselves. I never heard a complaint from a family that didn’t have a home and food or from a little kid with no shoes; rather all they wanted to do was thank God for what they did have and give us hugs for simply saying hello. With little that they had, it seemed like they lived by love and that is all that they needed to survive. God IS love and love has no preference, color, lifestyle, judgment, or limit. God is love and I saw Him in the beautiful church service where their faith was ever so alive, I saw Him in the loving FSIL nursing students who loved learning how to take a blood pressure, I saw Him in the Lott Carey school students who wanted to give free kisses and play tag. God showed me His immeasurable, merciful love in every direction I turned and every person I came across, and even if the language barrier was evident, the language of love and God has NO barriers, so a simple smile or hug went a long way.
Before I arrived, I realized that all I was thinking about was how could I make a difference in a life, materialistically. I learned that what matters most in this life is the intangible; the way we make people feel, the unforgettable memories we create, and most of all, the love we give. God’s love. Whether we were having a Kompa dance party with the students or giving a patient a bath, this is what both they and I will remember for the rest of our lives. The moments we lived together were most important at that time, and no one can take away the times we lived and loved together. The connections and reciprocated love that was made with either the nursing students, hospital patients and staff, little kids, translators, street vendors, etc is what overall strengthens our connection to God.
I certainly left Haiti with a bigger heart and can only hope to be as infectious with love as the Haitians are. I guess my purpose for writing this is to inspire to love. I think we can all agree that America needs to learn how to love like Haiti more than ever right now. A helping hand or words of encouragement is sometimes all a person needs to survive the day. Wherever you work, I encourage you to show a little bit more kindness and compassion to your patients, customers, students, clients, anyone! Give a compliment, offer a prayer, or simply ask someone how their day was. It doesn’t take a lot of effort, but it can totally make a difference. By the end of the trip, my fear was surpassed by God’s grace, and I believe that through God, we were able to give hope and intensify people’s faiths through both our nursing work and our personal evangelism/lives. I know one thing for sure is that the Haitians made a difference in my life.
Missionary nursing is sacrificing your whole life for the love towards other people, and God calls us to do just that. I hope and pray to continue to grow my faith and nursing experience here in the States, so that I can one-day share God’s love with the rest of the world.
Thank You, Lord and Haiti. There are just not enough words to say what is in my heart.
This is His desire for you: to love Him with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37), and for you to love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:38).
To Donate or Sponsor, these are different organizations that my class worked with and I 110% recommend that these are all super beneficial, especially to the students. Make a difference!
- Our nursing school went on behalf of NurseTim foundation and we were able to work in communities, hospitals, schools, church, and set up mobile clinics. It is truly a life-changing experience and if you like to experience it, donate to this foundation, sponsor a nursing student, or look up more information on it, here is the link and Dr.Bristol’s contact information, https://nursetim.com/haiti/
- Thanks to the NurseTim foundation, we were able to visit and perform physical assessments on the beautiful students of Lott Carey, a school that provides education and food for 270 students. Many of us were able to sponsor a child, for the school can only hold so many kids. To look up for information, or donate/sponsor here is the link, http://haitikidsschool.com/
- 77% of the Haitian population live in extreme poverty. The people of Friends of Momance are a non-profit organization committed to seeing the change in the village Momance in the city of Leogane, where my class resided. One of our great translators named Mario is a manager for this organization and he told me how they have over 150 students, provide a hot meal every day, medical and dental work is provided, and it is currently under construction to build a security fence. To donate and look up more information here is the link, https://www.friendsofmomance.org/
Yecica Rivas – Guest Writer, unparalleled love