What a Wonderful World
Guest Post by Mike Blevins
2016 Short-term Trip Participant
Elder, Mid-Way Christian Church
Interim Preacher, Mudfork Church of Christ
As we entered Haiti, the images could not be ignored. The results of multiple, devastating storms were all around. There were millions of people seeking basic needs. However, during the longest four hour roller-coaster ride of my life, as we passed person after person, we immediately started developing a certain level of respect for their “not crushed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-12) mentality despite their circumstances.
Once we reached the HCO campus, we were ministered to by the people. After a long day of travel, both our team (Lindside CC/VA/NC) and the medical team (NYIT) were met with friendly faces, given delicious food, and provided comfortable shelter.
With each day, our hearts seemed to grow more and more in love with the Haitian people in Peredo and with HCO. We were impacted as much or more than we impacted them. One of our team members, Jennifer Shepherd, summed up her time in Haiti this way: “I went to feed and I was fed, I went to teach and I was taught, I went to love and I was loved.”
Over the course of the week, we worshiped together during a church service, we interacted with the Kapotyer community while participating in VBS and providing a meal, and we experienced the market. At the HCO campus we painted, made bricks, did some electrical work, shared meals, and most importantly built relationships with others while strengthening our relationship with God. Lives were being changed. Genuine joy and thankfulness would describe most of the Haitian people we came in contact with.
As we began our journey back to Port-au-Prince to fly home, there were different images this time that could not ignored, as our eyes were filling with tears of love. I could hear Louis Armstrong singing, “What a Wonderful World” in my mind as I saw the trees of green, skies of blue, clouds of white, hugs good-bye, and friends saying, “Good morning! How are you?” And I thought to myself, “What a wonderful world.”
It was a privilege and honor for our team to get to know our brothers and sisters in Christ that live in Haiti. It was also a privilege and honor to join with our new medical friends to help meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the Haitian people. The Haitian people are SPECIAL and have GREAT VALUE! HCO is SPECIAL and has GREAT VALUE!