This past week, I went on a mission trip to Haiti. It was only my second time out of the good ol’ USA, and my first time out of the country by myself. I didn’t know anyone on the trip prior to meeting them during the preparation process (meetings, etc.). Needless to say, I was nervous. What if I lost my passport in the airport and couldn’t get into the country? What if I got sick and there was no good medical care nearby? What if no one liked me? These worries bounced around in my head in the weeks leading up to the trip, but God took care of me one hundred percent. He always does. Over the next week, I’m going to blog about each day of the trip and what God was teaching me while I was there. I had an absolute blast in Haiti, and I hope you have a blast reading about it!
The first day was Saturday, July 12, when our team flew into Port-au-Prince and stayed the night there in a hotel. Flying was the most nerve-wracking part of the day, because I’ve only ever been in the airport once without my family, and that was on a school trip where I knew people and was only going into Washington, D.C. This time I was flying into a foreign country with people who were pretty much strangers.
Of course, everything ended up working out fine because Jesus. The airport was actually where I first clicked with my closest friend from the trip – after having about two conversations, we just kind of merged into one unit. It’s part of God’s sense of humor that on day 1, the day when I was most worried about making friends, He gave me this overwhelming sense of community. That night at the hotel, one of the other students came around asking if anyone wanted to come to a Bible study. Most of our team came to this student-led discussion about a passage in Ephesians, and since I had brought my ukulele, I volunteered to lead worship.
The instant I started singing, I was showered with encouragement. I have never been encouraged in that way before. This team made me feel amazing about my voice and ukulele skills, and because of that, I honestly believe I played and sang better than I ever have before. That’s how confident and comfortable they made me. I wrote in my journal that night:
“My heart is so, so full and I haven’t even been here for twelve hours. I am filled with so much joy that I can barely stop my hands from shaking – so much joy that I can barely write. It [the Bible study] was just this amazing community of people gathered together to seek God, and I was so overwhelmed with gratitude. To be surrounded by people who love Jesus and love me… it was so, so amazing.”
On Haiti Day 1, God put some pretty awesome humans in my life. The team He gave me was and still is a huge blessing. I wouldn’t trade them for the world.