Reflections BH

Reflections of Haiti

By Betty Huneycutt

Note from the editor:  The text below was shared by Bettu Huneycutt during the Mission Moment on Sunday, February 18)

BONJOUR!   This was the closest I came to speaking Creole on our recent mission trip to Haiti, and my first trip to this beautiful country.  My high school French helped me very little, but I quickly could see that language wasn’t going to be a handicap on our mission trip.  In fact, it was a humbling and important part of what I learned during our week there.  I began to realize that “ we all smile in the same language, and that a smile is the beginning of love.”   These important quotes were given to us during the week by our Encouragers, who were two of our team members.

Our twenty team members ranged in age from teenagers to grandparents.  The fourteen women were housed in one room and we quickly felt God’s love bonding us, strengthening us and providing for us each day.  The six men who were part of the team gave much strength and spiritual support – we knew that God had called each of us for His purposes.

Our days were filled with visits to the village of Labordie, tours of the Mission of Hope (MOH) campus, peanut butter sandwiches, lots of water, helping to rebuild the walls of a church damaged by an earthquake, painting a villager’s home, and nightly devotions on the rooftop patio.  Labordie was the same village our team had visited last year. The request to return to this village was granted, and God’s love was displayed in a powerful way as children remembered our team members, and LOVED the photos that many had brought for the children to see & keep. A true relationship had been established!  The LOVE of Jesus stretchedBetty our hearts, opened our eyes, and our hands. The children, many clothed in nothing but a shirt, came to us wanting just a touch, a hug, and a picture taken with a team member.

With our Village Champions and translators, we visited a section of the village where Mission of Hope had built cinder block homes for many families who were chosen by their local pastors to receive these homes.  We distributed solar panels  to several families that would provide lighting and power for them, many bottles of liquid to be used for water purification, 2 goats to a farmer for income, organized kids’ club activities, and provided a meal of beans, rice, and chicken for approximately 100 children which was cooked by the village women over the fire. Most importantly, the gospel message was shared with these families.

Mission of Hope’s vision is “to bring life transformation to every man, woman, and child in Haiti.  To serve the nation of Haiti, and see lives changed.”  Because of this vision and  the Holy Spirit’s power the question was asked of those we met, “Do you know Jesus?  What do you want us to pray for you?”  Wow!   This was as powerful for me, as it was for the villagers. A true encounter with the living Jesus was taking place right there in the little village, and it’s hard to encounter Jesus and not be changed and transformed. God is in the business of molding us, changing us, and blessing us with His Grace and Goodness until we reveal His glory.  It is not ever us but JESUS CHRIST, our Savior, at work.

 Each day we witnessed many kind acts done for us by the Haitian people, often without a word, just a SMILE.  For example, several of us were helping a man pick up trash around his home one day.  He went inside and returned with a pitcher of water and a bar of soap for us to use to clean our hands.  Water is a very valuable commodity in Haiti, even dirty water.

We left part of Front Street with each family and villager for whom we prayed by giving them a “Prayer Square” knitted by the FSUMC Prayer Shawl Ministry. They LOVED receiving them, and through the translators we explained that our church was praying for them, and who had created these squares with a cross.  All around the village of Labordie are prayer squares from Front Street, and some of them were put up on the walls inside their homes.  One of the little girls that Grace Gilgo fell in love with, Jessica, was given a prayer square on Thursday as we were leaving for the day.  On our last visit Friday morning, Jessica came running up to Grace and was tightly holding on to the prayer square as if she had clutched it all night.

THANK YOU precious church family for supporting and participating in ALL our missions, local, national, and foreign with your tremendous generosity.  We felt the many prayers and strength of your loving support all the way in Haiti!

God has and is providing amazing things for Haiti through Mission of Hope’s presence there since it was founded in 1998.  Their facilities include a large church where we worshiped, a medical clinic and hospital with dental, optical, and prosthetic labs, an onsite orphanage, schools and food services for approximately 9,000 students, a new and recently opened technology lab, a nursing home, and a sports complex that is under construction.  Education is truly valued in Haiti and not available to the majority of  people.  MOH is empowering Haitians with jobs and opportunities in the name of Jesus Christ, that otherwise would  be impossible.  Approximately two-thirds of Haitians are unemployed due to lack of job opportunities.  Fred Glassford and I were able to meet Tachise, a 17 year old girl that the Genesis Class sponsors at the MOH school. She has 2 more years of school and plans to become a doctor. It was an honor to be with her, and through the translator to converse with her, pray with her, and spend time together.

In closing, I want to thank God for allowing me the great privilege of being part of this mission team of faithful and devoted brothers and sisters, for you have truly helped me grow in Christ.  Thank you to each Front Street member also, and to Patrick, Jennifer Smith, and Fred Weigand for the work  they did to organize us, provide information and assistance to make our journey safe, fun and truly life-changing. 

Our last night of devotions was very special, and we were given a bookmark as our encouraging message.  On the bookmark was the Creole word for CONTINUE!   That was, and is, the prayer prayed for our Haiti team and for Front Street UMC also, to continue the good work that God has called us to do.  The harvest is plentiful and the workers are few.  Pray and ask God where He is calling and leading you to serve.

MERCI MERCI!!

 

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Last Published: March 1, 2018 12:32 PM
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