This past March, I was again blessed to be able to visit Haiti on behalf of EVM. The purpose of this particular visit was to check the physical well-being of the 129 students enrolled in Institution Chretien Mixte David Steward (an EVM-sponsored school). This was our first medical mission trip and it was a huge success! Many of the kids had never seen a physician. Some were a little afraid while others were okay as they seemed to like the attention. Our team was made up of two medical professionals (a doctor & a physician’s assistant), a mother & her son, the husband of the physician’s assistant, & yours truly.
During the five days we were in Haiti, the students were on their Easter break. Some worried that because school was out, the parents would not take the time to bring or even send their kids. This turned out not to be the case as the parents indeed took the time to prepare their kids & bring them to the school to get physicals. They were even dressed in their uniforms as if it were a regular school day.
I have been to Haiti six times in the last three years and I think I am the only member of the EVM team to have not blogged. I’ve been trying to figure out why I haven’t been able to put pen to paper when it comes to writing about my experiences in Haiti. I believe one reason is I have so much that I could say and I want to tell it all but I know that I cannot. At the same time, I’m afraid I’ll leave something out that I shouldn’t. So what I will do is write about the one thing that has impacted my life more than anything else – relationships!
For years I’ve heard it said that “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” That’s true when it comes to Haitians. The young man in the picture with me is named “Junior.” During my first visit to Haiti, he called me a ‘White American’. That was because African Americans visiting that part of Haiti are rare.
After a couple more visits, I became the ‘Black American’. Now, according to Junior, I’m ‘Haitian!
Richard & Junior
I have also adopted a family in Chambrun.
Above – Daline & Andrew with Richard /// Below – Daline & Andrew and their 2 wonderful children
This is Daline & Andrew (I call him Andrew because I haven’t learned to pronounce his name, YET) with their 2 kids. They are the nicest people making the best of the hand that life has dealt them. I struggle when I leave knowing that I will go home to a comfortable home with more than enough stuff. But yet each time I leave, I do it with greater conviction of what really matters; people.
Then there are my ‘guys’.
Richard & The Guys!
These men are building a wall around the NVM campus. I always try to find time to spend with them because I just like them! A couple of them speak a little English and I try to speak a little Creole. We find a way to communicate and then we just laugh and have fun.
There’s so much that I can say about my 6 visits to Haiti. I just can’t do it in a blog. But if I ever get you on the phone or face to face, you better have some time to spare!
Thank you GOD for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this great work and to experience relationships in a whole new and blessed way!
Written by Minister Richard Green