A SFH team was in Haiti from June 24 to July 3, 2009. We will add reports from team members as we receive them.
This first report is from Julia, a 15-year-old on her first trip to Haiti. Sounds like it might not be her last!
Going to Haiti was definitely one of the best and most moving experiences of my young life. Before going, my family can tell you that I was very nervous and a little bit regretful of making the decision to go there. But upon arrival in the Port-au-Prince airport, I was certain that God had definitely called me to Haiti and that I was supposed to be there. I fell in love with the people and the joy they had was contagious. I loved the beauty of the culture and the pride they had even though they had next to nothing. But more than anything, I fell in love with the children. I tried to take every opportunity I could get to go down and play with the kids. They were the sweetest, most adorable children I’ve ever met in my life, and I will always hold a special place in my heart for them. I loved going to Haiti and I am so thankful that God has blessed me by giving me that experience to treasure forever in my heart.
Another 2009 team ran from November 9-17. Here’s a trip report from a veteran who has been to Haiti on many of our teams.
This trip to Haiti was once more a study in contrasts. I saw the same poverty and suffering I’ve seen in previous trips – something to which I’ve never grown accustomed, nor do I wish to. But I also saw the joy and hope that somehow flourishes in the midst of it all.
There always seems to be a new experience, regardless of how many times I’ve been to Haiti. This time, I was asked to take the photographs that we send to sponsors of the students at College Jean Rigaud Antoine. It was such a joy to meet every one of those kids, even if only for a moment. Most had ready smiles for the camera, but a few had to be coaxed with a friendly request of souri (Creole for smile), especially the “cool” older kids!
I also accompanied many of the kids from the orphanage on a field trip to the beach. These kids never left the water for the entire 3-4 hours that we were there. What a joy to witness their joy!
Although we had a relatively small team and several first-timers, quite a bit of work was accomplished just the same. A new roof was laid on the third floor of classrooms. A lot of the work was actually done by students who attend the school! It never ceases to amaze me when I see these teens and pre-teens gladly passing bricks and buckets of sand, stones, and cement. These kids have an ownership in their school that few American students will ever experience.
I had more time to spend with the kids in the orphanage than I ever have before. It’s great getting to know them and their often tragic stories. The best part is that those stories keep getting better. Several children are in the process of being adopted. The rest are living under ever improving conditions.
All in all, this was another unforgettable trip. I got to know some great teammates, renewed aquaintances with old friends, both American and Haitian, and came away with a sense of accomplishment and fufillment nearly unparalleled by any other experience.