Haiti Mission Team's Story: Do Good
God actually broke my heart for the Haitian people while I was there. We saw over 700 Haitians and it felt like a drop in the ocean. I think our eyes were opened to the massive needs, especially with medical care, there is in Haiti. We were extremely busy working every day, and I may not have noticed it, but my heart broke.
I realized how absolutely blessed we are, and we did absolutely nothing to deserve this life. I struggled with this fact for weeks: we, as Americans, are not inherently better than those people because of where we were born. I think I realized I had a responsibility to do what I can to help them with the knowledge and the skills God has given.
During our mobile clinics, my job was working in our "pharmacy." As the week went on, we found ourselves running out of certain things. During the middle of one of the last mobile clinic days, we ran out of a medication that the providers were prescribing quite frequently. One of the team opened a suitcase and found a full, unopened bottle of that medication. God provided for us in this situation and in many others during the trip.
One of the reasons that I join Calvary Church was its commitment to missions. I didn’t know much about the country or history of Haiti. I was born in India and have been there often, so I figured that Haiti was another impoverished nation just like India. Only when I got to Haiti did I realize that the situation was so much worse than I could have ever imagined. Just seeing the amount of corruption as soon as we entered the country and the uphill battle that the citizens have to face on a daily basis was overwhelming.
With the scant resources that these people have, treatable conditions became untreatable. Because of this, my faith had to increase and in return I shared that faith with the patients that I saw. I did the best I could to pray for these patients for whom I did not have an answer. It touched my soul to see the patients crowd into churches made of a dirt floor, some cement, and a roof. Not only do these people need medical healing, but they require spiritual healing as well.
There was no way to unsee what we saw and leave these children of God with no sustainable assistance. The week after we came back from the trip, we were so overwhelmed with the fire that the Holy Spirit started in us. We had no choice but to do something.
In Haiti, I experienced every emotion possible in a week. I was happy to help, blessed that God let me experience this mission, heartbroken for this country, angry at their government, and so on. Each day my emotions built stronger and stronger and I promised myself I would not cry there but wait till I came home.
On the last clinic day, as we walked up to an orphanage, we saw what looked like sheds lined up. These were their houses with wood bunkbeds and dirt floors. I could hear a baby crying so I walked to a shed and saw a 6-month-old baby girl sitting all alone on the dirt floor with no diaper and covered in tears. I picked her up and used my towel to cover her bottom. I tried calming her down by holding and rocking her. I sang Silent Night, the song I always sang to my kids to calm them. That’s when I couldn’t hold it in anymore! I had uncontrollable tears running down my face; it was like someone turned on a faucet full blast!
During my waterworks, I will never forget Josie Oxendale calmly telling me that it was okay to take a few minutes and get it out. She said I was really raw right now after a long week. Raw. As I was calming down and getting it together to help set the clinic, I kept thinking of that word – raw. It was like God stripped all my defenses away and exposed my heart on the outside of my body. It was one of the most incredible, foreign, purest feelings I have ever felt. I was raw! And there in Haiti is where a part of my heart will always stay!
Every night we would come back to the compound and discuss the day. We all had the same thought: This can’t be it...we can’t just go home and say we had a great week and go on with our lives. There in Haiti is where we started to plan our next trip, before we even left.
I wasn't planning on going to Haiti initially due to political uprisings at that time. I was fearful, to be honest, my heart restless. I waited. Prayed. And God said it'll be alright. So I went.
On return from country, our team determined how we can make changes "for keeps." Available immunizations is one thing. There is a vaccine for children called pentavalent that protects them from 5 diseases, which decreases child mortality rates. Also learning basic healthcare: washing hands, cleaning minor wounds to prevent further infections, brushing teeth, etc. Practices which are routine for us.
The Haitian people have healthcare needs that 7 For Good is able to provide through teaching, demonstrating, and implementing routine practices into their everyday lives. And most importantly, to sustain these health practices to teach the next generations. That's our goal and it can be done.
The trip to Haiti was beautiful and heartbreaking. Going in, I was scared of the unknown and nervous about the civil unrest. During the weeks before we left, the song Oceans(Where Feet May Fall) was on repeat on my playlist. God whispered that he had a beautiful plan for me if I kept my eyes above the waves and called upon his name. God showed up so big! He was in every moment, forming a hedge of protection. Our every move was covered in his grace.
Being just 7 Americans, we were able to travel to remote locations and simply love on the local people. We saw and treated over 700 people! They walked in from afar; no shoes, no food, and the majority didn’t even know their birthdate. Most mommas had a baby on their hip and one in their belly. They were hungry for a human touch. For compassion and an ear to listen. The Haitians were so kind and grateful, even though our team felt like we were only helping in one minuscule area of their great list of needs. I'll never forget their happy smiles. What we did felt so small, but to them it was life changing! God laid upon all 7 of us that it cannot end here. I cannot wait to go back and be the hands and feet of Christ.