Sunday, June 29, 2014

Goodbye for Now

Today is the last day here in Haiti and as sad as I am to leave I know that for now my time here is over. I have a feeling though, that God will bring me back sometime. I have discovered a heart for the hurting people here and I really want to be able to help them as much as possible. I know a few of us have talked about coming back, so I know there is a lot of passion for this country. 

I tried not to have many expectations of this trip because I didn’t want to be disappointed but I can honestly say that I am far from that. God showed up everywhere we went, which was so cool. I felt his presence just in everyday things like I never have before. I think one thing that I had in my mind that was going to happen was we would go to a lot of church service and we would see people speaking in tongues, prophesying, being slain in the spirit. I had expectations of God in a different way. What I found was that God was working in our hearts. Today was a special day for me because I got baptized. After I was baptized, I really just felt a sense of renewal. I thought about the trip and what God did in my heart and I know being baptized was the perfect representation of the trip. Because my heart and mind was totally changed by God’s love. 

I saw God in everything on this trip. From the very first day, as we were coming from the airport, looking at the small houses, and people-lined streets, I knew that God was going to do something awesome and he really did. I don’t want to lose sight of God when I leave this place. I don’t want to lose the fire and the passion for the presence of God. I cannot wait to come back here and do more. But I am just as excited to go home and spread God’s unfailing, amazing, super-duper awesome love to everyone back at home. I couldn’t have asked for a better youth family, I love them so much. 

Goodbye from Haiti for now,

Abbey :)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Crushing Comfort Zones

I didn’t blog yesterday because I just ran out of time but my experience was crazy! First of all, I’ve never had any desire to be a doctor ever. And I realized that I’ll either be the furthest thing from a doctor or that’s exactly what God is going to call me to be. We visited a home for sick and dying adults and a hospital. I had decided going in that I needed to step out of my comfort zone but actually doing that was terrifying. When we walked into the home, there were women that were clearly very sick everywhere and I was nervous but they were so happy to see us. I washed people’s arms, legs, and feet. As we did this for them, we also sang songs and I could just see on their faces how much they appreciated it. I felt and continue to feel God’s presence literally everywhere we go. 

The second place we went, General Hospital was absolutely crazy. I stepped out of my comfort zone just by walking in there. I thought the first place was difficult to deal with but it was nothing to what this hospital was like. These people were not just sick, they were left to die. The things I saw will never leave my mind. When I walked in there, my stomach turned in knots, I couldn’t move and was shaking like crazy. I stood there with eyes widened in shock at the conditions these people were living in. Almost everyone got straight to work but I was honestly too scared. Amy walked past me, could tell I was feeling uncomfortable, and said “Go crush your comfort zone.” So that’s what I did. I talked to the people (as much as I could since I don’t speak creole), I prayed for them, and I washed their hands and feet. I definitely didn’t do as much as I could but I really tried. The experience of yesterday is definitely something that will stick with me forever.

Today was super awesome as well! We took water to two small villages in Cite Soleil. So many children just come running when they see the water truck. They swarmed us, jumped on us, hugged us, kissed us. We were all holding two or three kids at a time. I really loved being able to visit them. I love being able to help these people that really appreciate it. The second thing we did was visit a special needs orphanage. We sang and played with them and they were all adorable. We can’t help but love on these kids because they always seem so happy to see us. I really have a love in my heart for all the kids here.

-Abbey :) 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Road less traveled

Yesterday, we arrived in Haiti, my first time out of the country, my first time on a plane, and I don’t think I could be with a better group. Today was the first day of work, we went to visit Grace Village and went to feed and wash the feet of elderly. The hardest part for me was to step out of my comfort zone and humble myself enough to do that. I don’t know why but I was scared and nervous. Washing other’s feet isn’t an every day occasion for me. We drove through the streets and let me just say, it was a bumpy ride. I was not expecting the streets to be bumpy and have no traffic laws at all. I don’t think I will be able to get used to the roads. Seeing the streets of Haiti was crazy, people lined the streets, selling different things. Also there a ton of goats here, it’s crazy. I saw a couple of horses too which made me super happy :) I can honestly say that the city is exactly as I imagined it and my heart just went out to every person I saw. Seeing the houses they lived in with barely a roof over their heads. When visiting Grace Village, we took a tour, there were so many children there, and they were all so sweet. They were all holding people’s hands, but they weren’t holding mine and I didn’t understand why. As I prayed about it, I really felt like I needed a more openness in my heart and as the day went on I could feel God opening my heart for these people. 

When we went to visit the elderly, the first man we visited was Edmond. We all attempted to squeeze into this tiny house. I got to lead the group in “Break Every Chain” in Creole, which was super awesome because I’ve been practicing it for a while. It was getting really hot in his house, so I walked out with a few others. A little girl, in a torn dress and no shoes, walked up to me and held my hand. She looked at me and asked me to pick her up, and of course, I did. That was exactly what I had hoped for. She was only about 3 years old and so cute. I wish I could remember her name but when she told me it, she was very quiet. I held her the whole time we were there and it was the exact experience I was praying for.

 As a team, we really just wanted to love on these people. And even though I wasn’t washing feet, I felt good about what I was doing, I still felt the presence of God there with me, as I was holding her. Tomorrow, we are going to a hospital and a home for sick and dying. I really am praying that I am able to step out of my comfort zone. At this point, children are within my comfort zone, and as amazing as it is to help those children, and love on those children, I really feel like God has something in store out of my comfort zone. 

-Abbey :)