First and foremost, my trip to Haiti was an amazingly transformative experience that not only shaped my views on God and this world, but also myself. I came away with more questions remaining than questions answered but that was okay. For some reason the fact that I still had unanswered questions reassured me that my time in Haiti was well spent.

I expected my trip to Haiti to be like my mission trip to Mexico I took freshman year, but they weren’t that similar. I wasn’t expecting the trip to have as much of an impact on me as it did. Leading up to the trip, our group of twenty students would meet and discuss what’d we’d be doing there. After a while all that mission trip diction began to blend together and become an audible buzz in the back of my head. I began tuning it out because I heard it so much, I was ready for the real deal. I was ready to stop talking about going and finally go. So, when I actually got to Haiti, I was shocked to realize it wasn’t anything like I had expected. It exceeded all my expectations and blew them out of the water.

God met me in Haiti. He comforted me, He laughed with me, He cried with me (I mean really cried with me), He was with me everyday in a way I don’t usually feel in Irvine. I felt his presence in the stillness of the orphanage and saw his love in the wide smiles of the orphans. God had reminded me that He is God, the ultimate power of this universe, and he’s got my back. God reminded me that He loves me, my fellow student leaders, and those Haitian orphans with a passion. I will never be the same after Haiti. I don’t know when but I know I’m going back. I have to. I need to see the faces of those orphans again. I left Haiti with a hunger to do God’s work and show love to the outcast.

I waited till senior year to apply because I was lazy. Please, I’m begging you, do not be lazy. If you keep putting it off just because you tell yourself “it doesn't feel like the right time” or “I don’t hear God really calling me to go” or “I have so many other things going on” you’ll never apply. When I applied I wasn’t anywhere ready to go on a mission trip across the world, but I put my trust in God and applied. Applying is just the first step, the easiest step. Even if you have the smallest inkling of desire to apply... DO IT! Haiti was a wonderful experience that I will cherish for as long as I live. To pass up an opportunity to go to Haiti would be a mistake. Trust me when I say this, you will 100% not regret signing up for Haiti. You’ll love it.

- Brennan Ernst

Senior

Student Leader

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