I’m happy to report that Casey made it back from Haiti safe and sound! If you missed the post we wrote before she went on her trip, here you go: Guest Blogger, Casey the Missionary. Let’s see how her trip went! All photos are hers.
Case-face, welcome back to the States!!!
1. How was your experience in Haiti?
Haiti was like a breath of fresh air! In America I am constantly surrounded by complainers: my husband, my toddler, and Americans in general. They all enjoy talking about how hard their lives are. I myself am not exempt from this statement either. Haitians don’t complain! They tell you how it is. If they’re sick, they’re sick, if they lack something they just do. They don’t have a spirit of entitlement. Also there is none of this BLM in Haiti; in Haiti if you work your life matters, the end.
2. What did you love the most?
I absolutely loved spending the week with my new BFF, Elisson. He has a very interesting life story; and one of the sweetest hearts I’ve ever encountered. Our first day out, every one was a little shy; because you just don’t know what sort of people you’re crammed on a bus with. The next day he was gone recording a new song. It was our second day of painting Bercy campus school, and I went up this questionable looking ladder to paint the high parts. Ejay, was my ladder man, he made sure that ladder wasn’t going any where! He hates painting by the way. I’m not even sure how we got on the topic of foot odor, but I believe the smelling of my feet is what made us best friends forever! Well that and God’s strategy! Elisson had not worked as a translator in so long that he couldn’t remember the last time he went out, but he just so happened to be with our group that week. He literally kept me lifted up about 6 or 7 feet to be precise and I believe that the Lord gives you people to lift you and we definitely lifted each other up a lot that week. We have kept in touch and will keep in touch until we meet again in Haiti or America. (Thanks for asking Leigh now I’m weeping) Our meeting was a blessing to each others lives; that neither of us anticipated. Prayers please for a smooth release of his first cd September 28, it should be on iTunes, Christian Rap by Ejay Rap Star. 😉
3. What freaked you out?
I don’t think anything freaked me out, for the entire trip I felt as though I was home. I haven’t felt at home in a very long time. Oklahoma is not my home. North Carolina and now Haiti hold home status for me. Haiti has such immense potential for beauty, and much of the country is already beautiful. The country does, however, have a trash problem. There is no infrastructure for the disposal of trash and the treatment of trash is different in every village. The situation has improved but is still a mess.
4. How did those long days in the airports go for you?
The airport time is where team bonding began and ended. While we were waiting for our plane to arrive in OKC we did yoga…. there wasn’t really anyone around and that airport carpet made for great impromptu yoga mats. On the way home in the Atlanta airport is where we exchanged pictures, and sighs for cheeseburgers and American attitudes. Airport time was good. We had one of the best possible groups ever. Everyone was a joy to travel with, our team vibe was strong!
5. Did you have access to the proper amount of caffeine?
There was strong Haitian grown and roasted coffee made for us every morning! The specific brand they served was Rebo. I’m ordering it online now, its heavenly. In fact I hold to my theory that the team members who drank the coffee were also the team members who did not experience trouble with their digestion. Rebo, the elixir of Haiti! I was the first one getting that coffee every morning (this is not an exaggeration). One of the Haitian women that tidied up the dining area floors every morning also noticed that on one particular morning I had not been watching the window for the most beautiful Haitian woman I saw all day, that is whoever was carrying the coffee out to its table. She noticed this, and immediately started declaring, “Kafe! Kafe!” while pointing towards the Haitian elixir station. It took my brain only a second to realize what was going on, and I immediately jumped up; hollering “Oui, Mèsi!” Smiles were all around, on the 4 people who were up and the Haitian women.
6. Did this experience change you mentally, physically, emotionally, and/or spiritually?
Haiti was such a huge deal to me. It was an opportunity to do something God commands, it was a break from the mundane. It refreshed me mind, body, and soul. I was able to get away from all the complaining. There was no air conditioning and I loved every minute of it! Something is apparently wrong with me (according to the rest of the world) because I enjoy no air conditioner. While there, I perspired from 9:30 to 18:30. Honestly, yes it was hot, but that’s what summer is, HOT! You deal with it, take cold showers, and sleep with wet hair; it is so simple and I guess I’m insane but it was heavenly to me. According to my scale I lost 5 pounds in Haiti, that must’ve been all water weight because I work out (I am not a fitness guru but I try); and I ate like a pig while I was there! We walked, painted, and walked some more, and painted some more; sweat, sweat, sweat, sweat. Awesomeness! Being in Haiti I had a great amount of time to spend with God, at home I am usually so consumed with what my 2 YO is going to get into next, that my mind stays in a high gear. I was able to downshift and get some much needed time in with the Lord. Worshipping in Creole and English, was also one of the most beautiful encounters I have ever experienced. I was reminded that one day we would all be doing the very same thing in heaven, without a language barrier. I can’t speak for any one else but I crave glimpses of heaven; I want things to be on Earth as they are in heaven. Many of the Haitians had to walk to church, or take a tap tap, but they still came in their Sunday best! They brought their cares and left them there with God, the entire church held hands and prayed individually. The sound of this was beautiful. I have not encountered the Holy Spirit in such a way as I did as that Sunday morning in a Haitian church. It felt like a big warm bear hug the kind that lifts you off the ground a little.
7. Do you want to go back to Haiti or at least on more mission trips in the future?
I did not want to leave Haiti, I would go back in a heart beat! I want to take Emma, I want to take Zack (it will take a miracle to get him on a mission trip). Like I said before, I felt very at home in Haiti and I was only there a week! I’ve been in Oklahoma for a little over 2 years and still don’t feel at home. I would also take another mission trip wherever God wants me to go, but I pray it’s always to Haiti!
8. Last question, how many Haitian kids do you want to adopt now??
I would say at least a dozen but I have to agree with MOH viewpoint that the children of that nation will be the ones to change it. The children there need Christian education, and college so they can grow to be the leaders and great business owners that Haiti needs. So maybe just one, but I don’t think Zack would ever agree to it. We’ve already talked about it. It would totally be a God thing if that ever happened but I would with all my heart love to adopt just one! It makes me sad that for one child we could completely change their lives (if we were approved), but my husband won’t agree to it. So I will have to see if I can persuade him to agree to sponsoring a child
there through Mission of Hope; which only costs $35 a month!
9. Dang, anything else?
My hope is that if you haven’t been on a mission trip that you would just do it. You go thinking you will change someone else’s life and you find that your life is changed at the same time. I found an incredible amount of peace in Haiti, and I hope that you can have a similar experience! I am so grateful for my experience there and the friendships that I got to make. Thank you to God and everyone that allowed him to use you to help me. Thank you for your support and thank you for your prayers! I hope is that everyone would answer the call to missions whether it be at home or abroad. America needs a revival, there is a very difficult mission right here at home. #bethevillage #bethechurch #oufou