Going on this trip had me doubting. Big time.

Am I supposed to go on this trip? Do I deserve the opportunity? How will I raise this money? Am I being selfish, sacrificing time I could be working for school?

I had these significant thoughts running through my head. I used to be a worrier when I was younger, but now I can honestly say that for the most part, I don’t let the little stuff stress me now. It took me a long time to work through that, but now I take things in stride (for the most part).

The point is, I knew that if I was worried about this trip, then it was really, really important to me and that these doubts held weight and would take trust to work through enough to allow my heart to be at peace.

I prayed about going to Haiti for a very long time before even asking my parents for permission. I wanted to be respectful to them and be sure my desire to go wasn’t a whim.

I read a book about Haiti, which was more just a collection of journal entries, by Robert Frechette, a priest and doctor who served in the country, titled “Haiti: The God of Tough Places and the Lord of Burnt Men.”

In the introduction, Frechette describes the unthinkable; encounters with kidnappers, disease, corruption, perversion, and total depravity made my heart physically ache. What stood out to me was not the total sum of tragedy that the Haitians endured, but the nobility of their common man with nothing and the joy and victory they emanated.

Frechette marveled at how these people worked and moved and how God was glorified through the sadness, pain, and heartache. He wrote that “God loves colorful and human stories,” and although the capacity of men to hurt one another is great, “We need to stop, to forgive, and to recover the best of the human heart in everyone.”

I was moved by this book and by the descriptions of it from others who had gone in previous years and especially from my two good friends, Liz and Deborah, who are Haitian themselves and whose parents started Jacob’s Well and work tirelessly to spread the gospel to the people of Haiti.

As I carefully write notes on support letters I’m sending out and slip them into envelopes and stick stamps with all the love in the world and anxiously watch my t-shirt fundraiser online, please know how humbled I am. I am blown away by the quiet support and strong encouragement I have already received. I have been wrapped in love and prayer, and I can feel my heart settling into the idea of actually going to Haiti in January.

I’m scared. Asking people for money freaks me out. It feels weird. I feel like I don’t deserve it. Asking you to buy a shirt is presumptuous.

But I am enormously privileged to have generous people around me. I am grateful.

I feel God pulling me towards Haiti, towards people different from me and who have so much to teach me. This will be more than me with a black kid in my profile picture, and this isn’t something I decided was “cool” or “interesting.” I feel it in my bones and soul.

I’m nervous for the challenges that are ahead. It will be different from anywhere I’ve ever been. The people have stories I can’t begin to understand. But I’m going to listen and to love and to give truth. I’m there to see construction projects rise and the village impacted for Jesus Christ.

I can’t wait, and I’m grateful. Thank you in advance.

photo from palestineherald.com

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