Last spring, when I was discussing possible locations for a vacation with my husband (one of them being Disney), my 12-year-old daughter Megan abruptly interrupted the conversation by firmly stating, "I would rather go to Haiti than Disney!" This response from such a young girl may have surprised others, but it didn't shock me. Since November of 2010, I had been to Haiti three times on mission trips and right from the start, Megan and her friend Abby decided to do what they could to help. They began creating duct tape purses, bracelets, and bows to raise money to buy fingerpaints for a school principal in Titanyen. Later, they were able to purchase a laptop computer for him. They have also made general donations to Haiti with the funds earned, and most recently used the money to help pay for Megan's trip to Haiti. Yes ... her dream did become a reality as we are in Haiti together this week.
Watching my daughter realize her dream by serving in Haiti is simply amazing and heart-warming. Yesterday when we arrived, a young group of boys were waiting for us outside the guesthouse where we are staying. Their smiles and excitement brought such joy to Megan that she immediately told me that she didn't want to leave Haiti. Her "Word of the Day" that night (a word to describe the day that each team member shares with the group) was "smiles." Then, today I watched as she showed God's love to people she had never met in Cite Soleil (the poorest slum in the western hemisphere). She was a bit timid at first, but quickly began holding children's hands, hugging them, and showing them she cared. I even witnessed her jump out of the taptap (our ride) to give a Haitian woman a snack as she gently touched her on the shoulder. Fearing the woman had seen us passing out snacks to children visiting our taptap, Megan didn't want her to feel left out.
Our week has just started and I cannot wait to see how God continues to transform Megan's life and the lives of those she meets. Those of us who have served in Haiti understand how we get so much more out of this experience than we give. By the way, Megan and Abby have now added jean bag creations to their sales, and Megan will be meeting the school principal she has helped in a few days.