Two things are etched in my mind after our recent dental mission trip to Haiti. One, was a t-shirt I saw a young lady wearing on our flight to Port Au Prince and the second was a wall mural that greeted us at the Port Au Prince airport.
First the t-shirt, which read: “Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone”. This really explained everything going through my mind on our flight to Haiti. For my first mission trip I wasn’t dipping my toe in the water to try out a stateside 3-4 day mission trip close to home. No, I was fully immersing myself into an 8-day mission trip to a third world country that posed all sorts of potential challenges. The language barrier was obvious but living in a third world country where safety, food and clean drinking water could be a concern were also on my mind. Those thoughts remained in my head but I was confident that God had my back!
Second, was the mural that caught my attention at the Port Au Prince airport. Our arrival was uneventful as we landed on time and made our journey to the customs area to get our baggage cleared. As I was waiting in the customs area I noticed this mural with colorful people and country side in the background with the saying: “Haiti – The Soul Of The Caribbean”. My first thought was here is marketing 101 at work as the tourism folks try to shed a positive light on a country that doesn’t always get a great deal of respect on the worldwide stage. But, after spending 8 days with the Haitian people I understood completely what this mural was talking about.
The Haitian people were some of the most gracious, heartfelt and giving people I had ever met. People that have next to nothing who live each day with hope that tomorrow will be better than today. They are simple but very prideful people. They only want to please you so that they can bring joy to your heart. You look in their eyes and you truly feel like God is talking to you. I almost feel guilty as it seemed like I got so much more out of this mission trip than I gave back to the people of Haiti. But, I can honestly say that the trip checked all the boxes for me and I am truly looking forward to my next mission trip to Haiti.