Daily glances at the calendar, dirty suitcases on my bedroom floor, checklists and packing lists galore, crammed study sessions of Rosetta Stone French... yes, another trip to Haiti is well on it's way :) With each return to the USA, I begin asking "How?" "What?"and "When?" How will I make it back, find the funds, have the time off of work? What will I do next time? What will the trip look like? And when do I get to go back? These answers have come together in a beautiful way. I am so excited.. SOOOO excited to go back to Haiti! In case you wonder.. the countdown is now 17 days!
Gretchen Olson and I went on our first trip to Haiti together in March, 2008. It was a powerful experience and a friendship builder to be in a different part of the world, amidst poverty, away from family, and to have our eyes opened by God to a mutual passion he was about to impress on our hearts. This first trip was with our nursing school and we helped in community health fairs and volunteering at the nursing school. Not everyone that comes to Haiti loves it. I feel like it's one extreme or the other. Either loving it or counting down the minutes until you are ready to be back on American soil. Gretchen and I loved it, the people, the language, the heat (sometimes..!), the culture, the "new" way of doing nursing without all the resources readily available in the states. Gretchen and I went to Haiti on our own in August, 2009 for 3 weeks. We stayed at Operation Love the Children of Haiti orphanage and became a part of the family there. We opened the doors of the orphanage for an all day health fair and put our nursing skills to work for the community. We also made it to Cite Soleil, the largest slum area in Haiti- which we were only able to do with a police escort. It was a place that we had read about in it in Angels of a Lower Flight. It was an inhumane place. There was not a place to walk without stepping on trash, or perhaps something worse. This trip taught us to find our own niche in Haiti. We were completely independent for the first time. And it was great. This trip gave birth to the dream of someday creating our own organization in Haiti.
Gretchen and I have felt the burden on our hearts for another trip to Haiti and are excited about the dreams God has blessed us with for this trip. Our trip is June 8-19, of 2011. The focus of this trip will be two community health fairs. The first, in the North of Haiti, in our friend Shirley’s home town of Gonaives and the second fair in Leogane, which was the epicenter of the earthquake in 2010 and has also been the home base for our past mission trips. We are planning a day that will include two seminars, one on hand washing, with a focus on Cholera, and the second seminar on nutrition. After many health fairs in the past that have been focused on providing medical care, we would like to teach the Haitian people how to take a stand against the spread of disease and the malnutrition that effect so many. After the seminars, we will have games for the kids followed by prayer and worship. We will conclude the day with a large meal for all, music, and socializing.
During the week we will accompany the Haitian nursing students to the hospitals in the morning and in the afternoon we will go to Operation Love the Children of Haiti, and play with the kids.
We hope to update this blog as often as possible. We are excited to have our readers follow our travels and pray for our needs while we are abroad!
Current prayer requests:
-Pray for the rest of the funds for our trip to come in. We need about $1500 more before we can leave
- Pray for safety from sickness, specifically cholera and malaria
- Pray for big turnouts to our community health fairs, open ears and hearts and understanding to come from our teaching
- Pray that God would continue to reveal his plans for our future in Haiti. That we could continue to make connections, meet the right people, that there would be divine interactions.
Thanks! And more soon :)