Friday, June 24, 2011

Caitlin's Haiti Reflections

Caitlin's Haiti Reflections:

"My experience in Haiti was eye opening.  Going into the trip, I didn't really know what to expect.  I have heard of the devastation that had happened a year ago, and seen pictures, but nothing could prepare me for the reality of Haiti.  You could see every picture from every angle in the highest quality, and you would still miss out on the experience, the smells and sounds and the presence of the people.

The environment was completely different and the culture shock was strange, but what surprised me more were the people.  I was totally shell-shocked.  On the Sunday we were there, we went to a local church.  Their worship was amazing.  I could've taken an Ultra HD video, recorded the highest possible sound quality and played it on an HD 3D RGBY TV, and you still couldn't experience the passion that they had when they worshipped.

These people were in a mere skeleton of a building, nothing more than wooden sticks with a tin roof.  But these people were joyful and spirited!  Though the songs were in Creole, I could literally feel their elation in the praise and the Holy Spirit in that place.  It was truly amazing.

For most of the week, Aysha, Jen and I worked with the kids who attended a school nearby.  Everyday we would do crafts with them.  We had a blast planning and playing with the kids.  They were so sweet!  No matter what we did, no matter how confused we were with the language they always smiled as us.  My personal favourite was finger painting with the first year preschool kids (approx. 3 years old).

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We gave them oversized t-shirts, and they looked so cute wearing them because the shirts went down to their ankles.  They were so grateful and happy, and wore those t-shirts with pride!  Some kids really got into the finger painting and we joined in too!

So my time in Haiti was extraordinary.  We saw not only poverty and hardship, but also a people who were joyful all the same.  Amidst all their loss and suffering, they could still sing Hallelujah!  It was inspiring!

Am I glad to be back?  Yes.  Even though I've got exams to study for and teachers to deal with, I'm glad to be back home.

Am I glad I went to Haiti?  Definitely.  It was an extraordinary experience."  - Caitlin Young

Serving with my Daughter:

What an amazing privilege it was to not only serve alongside an amazing team of professionals but to do it for the first time with my daughter made in very special indeed!  Caitlin and I had talked about it since she was three when I went on my first eMi trip that someday, when she was at least 13, I would take her on a trip with me. That was exactly ten years ago.

I was so proud of how mature she was throughout the trip in the hot, muggy conditions, dealing with mosquitos and strange, mysterious insects that you didn't know were friend or foe.  I think from her reflections she definitely gets what a big God we serve and how His ways are not our ways and that He can make good even out of the most devastating circumstances.

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Project Photos and More:

To read more details about the group we served click the link for Haiti ARISE Children's Village to the right under Greg's eMi Project Archive.  A new set of annotated photos has been place my Photo Gallery and you have options to view it.  If you want to browse the set, click here.  If you wish to see a slideshow of the photos, click here.  If you want to see the titles and read the captions of each photo, click here.

Thank you to all who have donated to this work through your financial support, encouragement and prayer: you have made this project a reality and it could never have happened without you.  This is your investment as much as it is ours.

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