Note: A team from Austin New Church just returned from a Help One Now trip to Haiti. This post is from AJ Clark, one of the members of that team.
My recent trip to Haiti was the most amazing trip I have ever been on! There were so many moments that touched my heart that I was not able to pick just one.
Our trip started off by delivering much-needed supplies to an orphanage that had just taken in the 23 children from another orphanage that was closed due to horrific conditions. I was a little nervous about what I was going to see when we arrived. To my surprise, the children were so excited to see us! They came running and practically jumped into our arms. Their faces were so sweet and innocent. All I could do was hug and love on as many of them as possible. We only stayed a short time because we were essentially there to deliver the supplies.
The following day, I was going to meet Gethro. He’s the child my husband and I sponsor. I had been so anxious and excited to meet him that I was almost ready to burst! As Megan called my name and said, “AJ, this is Gethro”, all of my anxiety went away and pure love came over me. I immediately grabbed him, wrapped my arms around his body and was probably hugging the life out of him! Tears were uncontrollable on my part and I am pretty sure he was thinking, “Who is this CRAZY lady?”
After a minute of total awkwardness for Gethro, John, the translator, explained that I was crying because I was so happy to meet him. A big smile came across Gethro’s face, and I knew at that moment that the Lord had his hand all over this! We spent some time there and learned more about Pastor Gaetan and his hope for Haiti. I know that Gethro and the rest of the children there are well taken care of and that Pastor Gaetan and his wife are truly following God’s plan for them.
We then went to Tent City and attended a church service. I could not believe that when the music started playing, the people just walked up and started worshiping and praying. The service was all in Creole, but I knew that the Lord was speaking to me in my heart as well.
The next couple of days we spent helping local Haitians continue to build houses. I was so surprised at how strong, both mentally and physically, the people of Haiti are. Even though I could not understand their words, I felt that they were very happy for us to be there. Every time I said “bonjour” to anyone, their faces lit up and they sweetly sang “bonjour” back to me.
During our stay, we had some translators that spent most of their time with us. They really helped break the language barrier between us and the Haitians. A few of them shared their own life stories with us. I have to say that their stories hit my heart like a Mack truck! I could not believe how many struggles and heartaches these men have persevered through. I would have thought their hearts would be hardened after some of their experiences. However, their hearts were stronger and larger than ever! Through these gentlemen, I saw that the Lord is truly present in Haiti!
I left there with several emotions: a broken heart, love, faith, joy, and most of all, HOPE! Hope for Haiti! My life is truly changed after this experience.
If you would like to sponsor a child in Haiti, please visit our Haiti child sponsorship page at HelpOneNow.com.