Fixing what Matters

By Kacey Collins

Kacey Collins in Haiti with vacation Bible School children
Kacey Collins in Haiti with vacation Bible School children
I saw a Facebook post from my high school youth group leader announcing that a mission group from my church would be going to Haiti in the summer. This immediately caught my attention. I prayed a little. I was very nervous to commit, but I took a leap of faith. Then I prayed A LOT as I said, "Yes." I was nervous about the financial aspect, and sure enough God provided with help from friends and family. Our church sold Haiti bracelets and pizza cards as fundraisers. I was able to raise enough funds to send me on my way.

Our group all knew each other, but over the course of the trip, we truly got to know each other very well. We traveled from Indianapolis through Miami to Cap-Haitien. The Haitian airport looks and operates differently than the U.S. We found our bags, loaded onto a truck that drove us through the city.

The first trip through was a major shock to many of us as our eyes and hearts were opened to the poverty of this new culture. There was trash in the streets, dirt roads with no traffic signals or signs. Goats, cows, chickens, you name it, were just wondering free. People flooded the town; some selling things, some socializing, some sleeping, and some just wondering.

We stayed at the OMS site and were treated kindly by the missionaries and Haitian women who cleaned and cooked for us. Each night, we heard a different missionary's testimony of God's provision. Their stories had a way of making us feel the Holy Spirit and realize God was with them. Also, every night after dinner someone from our church group gave a devotion. This was such a great time and we bonded in ways we never would have had the chance to do if not on the trip.

My very favorite part of our adventure was our children's vacation Bible school. Each morning we loaded up our VBS supplies and were on our way. We journeyed to the water factory first to pick up a cooler for the day, continued on the main road for a while, and eventually veered off into a very small, bumpy, dirt path. As we got closer to the church, children ran out from their houses and chased our truck to the church with excitement.

We were able to serve almost 100 kids. We sang, prayed, and told Bible stories with animation to them. Afterwards we got to play, show love, and interact with them, one-on-one. Without being able to communicate one spoken word to each other, we were able to smile and experience joy like no other. They lightened our hearts with their own Creole versions of "Jesus Loves Me" and "This Little Light of Mine."

Although many Haitians have little to nothing, the ones that love the Lord have everything! Those who have Jesus have such happiness and hope in His name. We didn't fix their culture or their country. We didn't fix their society or their government, but what we did was much greater. We planted a seed of Jesus to grow in their hearts and invited them into an eternal paradise, one that makes their time on earth feel like a grain of sand.

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