By Martha Canizales (Rodriguez)
I’ve enjoyed past missions to Mexico and Africa and each place is unique with beautiful people; and I’ve seen and witnessed God do many awesome things in those countries. But Haiti was a different experience all together it and its people have left a mark in my heart that has changed my life for the good.
On the first day as we landed we were greeted with some pretty groovy Island/Reggae Music. The air was thick with humidity as it is a tropical area near the Caribbean. As we met up with the pastor we walked through the old orphanage that was destroyed by a huge earthquake that devastated Haiti and over 200,000 tragically died. You could feel the brokenness and loss of hope in the air. Our team at this point in time did not know what to expect but we remained confident in Our God and our mission there.
We were able to stay in the boy’s orphanage and the age range was age 2 to 16. We quickly connected with the smaller ones but some of the older were standing off in the beginning. The girls home was just a few blocks away (or should i say a few fields away?? 🙂
Our team came with many suitcases full of clothes, undergarments, shoes/sandals, and lots of fun stuff for the children. The guys were equipped with tools to help build the children’s school (since right now they meet under the mango trees!) And diligently worked hard on the building and did what they could during our time there. We noticed that many of the kids were sick and the illnesses were spreading. We were blessed to have one of our mentors/spiritual moms with us (love you Nancy Wieland!!!) And she along with the team began to sanitize the children’s wounds and provide what care we could along with counseling with the local pharmacist about medications for the different sickness’s the kids had.
I watched in awe as our team began to show awesome love to these children, and I witnessed how it was exactly what they needed! I’m usually one to encourage with words, and I did have the opportunity to do that, and saw God move in it…but nothing compared to just showing the children love by our actions; by playing with them, embracing them, waking up early to wash their faces and clothe them. I have been left undone by God’s love for these beautiful Haitian people.
The children have the best smiles, and it was amazing to see them look us in the eyes and smile. I saw how the older ones began to soften and trust…and even my own heart was softened. If I were to say what the highlight of our trip was, it is definitely LOVE….LOVE changes everything. And when a person surrenders to that Love it can solve any crisis…it can build buildings, it can feed the hungry, it can cloth the naked, it can heal the sick, it can save a NATION….LOVE—-“Renman” can do the impossible.
And that week in Haiti, that is what I saw, that is what I lived, that is what I saw my team express, that is what I saw the orphans accept, that is what humanity needs MORE of!!! Love is the answer….Love is the key…and God is Love!
I give special thanks to all those that donated to the WhiteDove team and for making it possible for us to go! Thanks to Leslie and Caleb Davis for leading the mission and pushing and making a way for me to join the team…i will be forever grateful for the amazing experience and will be sure to never take LOVE, God’s Love, for granted. Words can be powerful, but words backed with Love can truly change everything…and it has!
There is so much more to say about our trip. But I hope this note encourages those who read it, and that you are challenged to live out Love…it is the key!