Hi, Beca here. “She wants to know if you’re coming back,” Elsie translated for me.  I had called her over because I needed a translator to understand what the small girl was whispering in my ear.  Though this girl and I had been together nearly all day, I hadn’t exchanged any words with her except for asking one another’s names – even that was hard for me to understand through her thick accent.  None of this mattered to her.  From the minute we arrived at the small church, this girl had been holding my hand and following me everywhere I went.  Even though it has only been one day here in Haiti, I already have a variety of stories I could share.  I could tell of the little boy who kept asking us to make bracelets for him but giving them to others who were less outspoken  or of the kindness of the people living in the small town as they welcomed us into their homes and talked to us about their lives and faith.  I return, however, to the question asked to me by a small girl: “Are you coming back?”  We had been communicating all day without words, so the words she chose stood out.  Today was important to her, a day she will remember, and I know I will remember it as well.  Our different homes, languages, and ages could not prevent me from loving this little girl or her from loving me.  I know I am just seeing the tip of this love that surpasses boundaries; I can’t wait to continue to see how it shows itself this next week.

Hi, Ethan here. Today I experienced one of the most powerful moments of my life.  During street evangelism, it was my turn to speak with one of the locals about Jesus. As my group approached an older woman in a small shack-like structure, I began thinking about what I should say and how I could connect with someone so different from me.  I introduced myself to this woman and began talking to her through a translator.  She told me that she regularly attended church and is a follower of Christ.  I asked if there was anything that I could pray for.  She told me that her back and leg were causing great pains and suffering. Then I asked if she had a family.  She told me that her son had passed away.  Through the eyes of this woman, I saw a past of sorrow and hardship.  The woman explained to me how she was wishing that her life would change and that the overall condition of Haiti would improve.  While praying over this woman, I could hear her crying.  I knew that this was the voice of God speaking through me to her.  She was very grateful for my prayer and I felt spiritually fulfilled for the rest of the day.  I had never felt God’s power in that way before today.

Hey guys, I’m Ashlynn! Going into this trip I had no expectations, but I’ve learned so much in just one day. I’ve experienced the most welcoming and loving people in Haiti that I have ever met in my life. I made friends with a few girls that were my age and even though we couldn’t chat about everything we wanted to, we bonded in ways that I could have never imagined. For example, they braided my hair, we made bracelets, and just sat around each other and enjoyed the little time we had together. What I loved the most about the people I met throughout the day, was the fact that they had no expectations of me and they accepted me even though I don’t know their language and I’m new to their culture. That made me much more relieved and led my pathway to learn, grow, and just have fun with my day.

I truly believe that God has placed me on this trip to learn from other people and to show me that there is so much more than the small things I worry about on a day to day basis. I put so much pressure on myself and who I will be in the future, even though I know that it’s all in God’s hands. Seeing how other people live, I’ve realized that my life would be much easier if I was as open and accepting as the people I’ve been surrounded with in Haiti. When I come home, I will keep an open mind to new experiences and situations that will come up. I can’t wait to see what doors will open as I become more open-minded. I am so thankful for this opportunity that God has placed in my hands to grow my relationship with him and as a person.