I met so many incredible, inspiring friends on this trip. My heart overflowed with constant love for the beautiful children, teens, and adults that I encountered. I remember sitting playing with rocks, or coloring with the children for hours. They were also mesmerized by my camera. I heard "Photo! Photo!" about a million times a day - I didn't mind though! The older kids were very interested in knowing where I came from and what my family looked like, and were anxious to practice their English with us. Students here do not start learning English until elementary school. It was very entertaining seeing some of the older students teaching the team Creole and us trying to interpret what they were saying - many laughs came from this.
Two out of the six days we walked around the village handing out food packets to families and praying with them. For some families this may have been the only food they've eaten in days. Everyone we visited with were so thankful and kind. This was the most nerve-wrecking thing we did for me personally because we had to pray with the families and praying out loud has never been my thing. I hung towards the back and Matt (one of the pastors on the trip) said "Ok, who hasn't prayed yet?" I quietly said "me" hoping he wouldn't hear. Well he did, and sure enough there I was standing in front of a family about to pray. This was a God moment because the family that I was praying for was the same family that sat next to me the night before during the evening of worship. I instantly felt a calm come over me, and did what I was most afraid of doing - praying out loud. Funny how God works isn't it?
I have many more stories similar to these, but you would be reading for days. So lets skip to one of my favorite parts - photographs!
These photos that I captured not only show the depravity, despair, and suffering, but more importantly the love, kindness, and sense of community that these people show towards each other. God showed up and showed out on this trip in many different ways. It was truly and indescribable experience!