was the perfect opportunity for me. I had been feeling like there had to be more to life than what I was offering. I am heavily involved in church and have a strong relationship with the Lord, however something was missing. In my mind, I was thinking this would be a great opportunity to let the Lord use me for His glory. I would go and feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and tell anyone who would listen about the wonderful God I serve. As the trip got closer and closer, the anticipation was unnerving and exciting. After being in Haiti for just one day, I realized there was way more to this trip than I anticipated. Little did I know that the people of Haiti would be changing my life for the better.
We arrived on Saturday evening, and spent the majority of that time with other missionaries. It was nice to meet people from all over who felt compelled to come to Haiti to share their gifts and talents. On Sunday morning, we all got up and went to church. Haitian families from nearby villages showed up in large numbers. The church was packed! We sat on hard wooden benches, shoulder to shoulder in a hot building without air conditioning. Most importantly, we praised the Lord! There we were, people from all different walks of life, worshiping the one and only Jesus!
Praise and worship lasted well over an hour. People were singing, clapping, and praising the Lord all together. I was struck by how the Haitian people in particular praised. It was praise that came with sincere gratitude. As I looked around with my “American” eyes, it seemed like the people of Haiti would be bitter, sad, and frustrated. It wasn’t the case. There was a gratefulness that I noted and tucked away. The people were grateful for what God has done for them.
Upon my return, I prayed “thank you” prayers. I was careful not to always ask God for blessings. In addition, I remembered that when I was in Haiti, I ate rice and beans for a week. I didn’t buy a thing except for an occasional bottle of water. I didn’t watch one minute of television during that week. I survived. So when I returned home, I ate out at restaurants less, shopped less, and watched less television. I also became more grateful for the little things. Hot water and electricity are blessings. I had taken so much for granted.
So, while I am thankful that I got to go help the people of Haiti, I also know that I am blessed to have had that experience. God showed me some things about me in the process.
Written by LaTonya Floyd