by: Elissa Crosslin
Many times when people go on mission trips, they focus their energy and thoughts when they get back on the sheer poverty and shock of it all. But this however, is what I refuse to focus on. The people of Haiti have been through so much, and still are going through a lot. However, people let their pity and heavy hearts lead them to believe that the Haitian people are “below” us in terms of those who firstly receive God’s love. And this is NOT the case. The people of Haiti have their own culture, that can not be compared to ours in any way because of how different and unique it is.
I was more than happy to have the opportunity to get to know these incredible people and their culture, and even maybe get to talk to them about Jesus! My expectations were greatly surpassed, and I learned more from these people about life and God’s love than I ever thought I would. Every Haitian that my group met in the village we visited with (Turpin), was a Christian. Some of them had family members that had strayed from their walk in the Lord, but it was so eye opening to see that these people knew more about Jesus and his Love than I ever have. I learned so much about pure joy.
I wonder and ponder on what makes the people that we met as a whole, be so joyous and full of the Holy Spirit. No one I met personally was embarrassed, or scared to talk about their relationship with Christ. They would bring him up into any conversation and say things like “jezi ” which means Jesus is faithful, or “jezi renmen ou” which means Jesus loves you. Because of the Haitian people that I met, I am learning how to be less frightened to share my faith. I have more of my faith at the forefront of my heart, and it makes me feel like a brand new person. I have learned to also be so much more hopeful and to lean on the Lord for all things as I walk through life. I’m forever grateful to Mission of Hope, Wildwood and all the amazing people in my group, and all the loving and kind spirited people I met over in Haiti. I can’t wait to go back and be pushed further in my faith while getting to know more and more great people. It was a trip I’ll never forget. And for you? I hope you never forget that “Jezi renmen ou.”