Passion for helping others and YES!'s impact on Haiti
The reason for writing this letter is due to my need to share my passion for helping others and the huge impact YES! is having in Haiti. In the year of 2010 I was active duty Military and we were getting ready to deploy to Haiti to help with humanitarian aid. This was the first time for me that Haiti really became visible on my radar. I knew it existed but it was not a visible thought in my head. At the last minute of preparation plans were changed and we ended up not going. That year marked the time I first felt called to support and assist Haiti. However, being able to go in this time during all the current unrest in the country, my mission or what I felt called to do this time around was not to solve or fix anything, it was to come to Haiti, learn, and experience all that I can while giving the people my undivided attention and unconditional love. Nothing could be more valuable while doing humanitarian work. I believe there is a reason for everything, and this reason is my interest in what YES! is doing in Haiti. I what I saw them doing in Haiti, I would like to continue to be part of it.
We boarded the plane at 12:45 on Wednesday morning, it was a gorgeous clear day, as we approached Haiti, the path that the plane took seemed to be a little closer to the coastline, and then we had to loiter for about 15 minuets before we could land, this offered a clear view of all the tiny villages scattered around Haiti, between the airport and PAP.
What a blessing to arrive in PAP and be greeted by Mr. P and some of the YES! associates such as Dieumercy, Dawens and Judson. I wish I could meet and get to know the numerous other volunteers that make the often-arduous journey to Haiti and the missions there safe, secure and efficient. On the plane I had excited thoughts, like I knew I was I protected and wondered what it would be like to ride around in the city. I was not sure what to expect at first.
Throughout my time there it become familiar and I loved it. I fell in love with this place. I just love going to YES! every day and I really liked the praise, worship, and involvement of everyone, also praying over people. It is something to be proud of and has a lot of power behind it. Truly there was blessing over us, the Lord was thanking us for traveling and taking the risk to be there with them when there is so much political turmoil going on there and in the world.
Throughout my time there, I kind of lived through them, just watching them experience all these things, but doing it in such a profound way. It felt great to just be immersed in this culture. You really learn about how other people live. We’re so privileged living in America and so many don’t even realize it. I felt really blessed because the whole week demonstrates a lot of what people take for granted, like brushing our teeth, that we have running water, electricity 24 hours a day, and stuff like that. For Haiti it’s a big deal. They have to go and pump, collect or pay for every bit of water that they want to use every day. That makes you aware of how much water you use.
I really liked going to all the places in PAP, it was really a lot of fun, seeing the look on people’s faces and how busy but happy they were. Many of the people there in Haiti have so much love in their hearts, and they just want to share it. I am so honored that these people shared their love and friendship with me. The YES! young adults were all awesome and I had a fantastic time. I could truly see God’s light coming from every single one of them in everything they would do.
Also, the scenery there is amazing, I can’t wait to take another adventure back to Haiti to serve the Lord once again in one of my new favorite places in the world. Communication no longer feels like a massive barrier. 2 languages, 2 different countries yet we could communicate through a common thread. The Spirit of God was so tangible there. It was beautiful to experience. God’s love through creation is everywhere. I was reminded to take the time to step back and just enjoy it. What an incredible blessing and surprise. So very thankful for the opportunity to serve the people of PAP, I am humbled to be a small part of making a difference in their lives!
The top of my trip was when we were on a rooftop deck and I could see the mountains and looking down I saw a few families living in abandoned buildings with no roofs and they just looked kind of down. Close by these homes were animals grazing.. goats and some cows eating things from the trash.. chickens getting in the way.. I heard radios playing music.. saw small portable solar panels charging phones that most certainly almost everyone under the age of 40 has. I saw all the laundry hanging on the lines to dry, all the cats, goats and chickens running around freely. I was pleased to see each person was in (relatively) good health. If the people noticed me up there, I waved, wishing I could do more. You know it’s like something that I would’ve just do in passing where I live. It’s there they wave to each other, and I noticed the joy they carry around on their faces despite their situations. The smile and joy on their faces from the small gesture, that just deeply touched me. I love that. However, I find myself thinking many times daily; is there more we can do, can we really do enough? Coming to Haiti and being a part of YES! gave me a beautiful gift – it renewed my faith that we are making a difference. We all continue to be blessed in so many ways and in turn are all called to share these blessings with our Haitian brothers and sisters. They in turn teach us to be thankful, to be joyful, and to be faithful.
My favorite parts were spending time with everyone, teaching, praise, and worship, and Dieumercy playing the guitar. I really like that and seeing all the people happy and even that they were very friendly. I loved our time of telling life stores, singing songs, joking around, and participating in lessons, and devotionals with the YES staff and young adults. It was just hearts filled with love and joy. I know others can learn from that. We were able to eat and try their handmade pizzas which were wonderful, I can see how they are flourishing with pizzas that taste this good. We had our breakfasts of local produce, we ate delicious Haiti Mangos and avocados with Mamba pimento (chili peanut butter). We spent time talking to each other about our experience in life and sharing how being in and visiting Haiti has positively impacted so many. So many smiles were shared and that I know in my heart that I will remember these moments forever. I had a blast, and the Haitian food was great.
Our days were full of joy and work. It was so great meeting all the YES! team. The way that you all just jumped right into helping and praying over people. That’s a difficult thing to do for the first time, that takes a lot of courage, and all of you excel at that. You should be proud of what you’ve done now for the people that are there, but also for yourself and what you are doing as you go back in your own communities. It is powerful, to share love and faith with others. This has truly been a life changing and eye-opening experience that I will share and will never take for granted. Coming on the trip I didn’t think of it as an escape, but I truly felt blessed by God. It was one of my favorite trips ever because I left knowing that I’ve done some great things for others and for God; it was a very meaningful trip for me.
I want to thank you all for allowing me to participate in the trip to Haiti. It was an amazing and heartwarming experience to add to my life. It was awesome to see all of the differences that have been made possible for the YES! young adults over the years. The relationships that I developed with the YES! Staff and participants, I will always treasure them. Beth and Pierre were phenomenal leaders, it was inspiring to see how much love they have for our brothers and sisters in Haiti. I was moved by YES! It has given hope to many, though there is still so much more to do and the need for this area of work is so great. I know YES! will continue to help these communities and young adults prosper. Overall, I had a fantastic time from seeing the smiles come onto their faces and singing with Dieumercy.
I am a strong supporter of what YES! is doing. I trust in their work and I believe that God has placed YES! in this city to make a difference. And I know without the good work and all your support, YES! could not be doing this work. I was amazed to witness all these developments and all I can say is Thank You. I am taking the opportunity to thank each and every one of the members of YES! on behalf of the population of PAP and the YES! young adults and VBS students you’ve helped.
I hope to one day be able to go back to Haiti with YES! and I plan to be involved by doing my part in helping with fundraising, bringing awareness, and praying. Now people are asking me what I think is going on and how things are in Haiti. I share with them my experience and that I would love for others to check out YES!, to call or e-mail and share anything they can. Maybe even establish a monthly donation to help with some of the YES! projects and also to offer service to the YES! mission to profit the beautiful works that YES! is doing in collaboration with the Haitian families.
I personally feel like I encountered the blessings of God every day through the young adults of YES! and the people that contribute to the mission. I am personally grateful for everything you and your mission are doing to enhance the quality of life in Haiti. YES! should be really honored by what they’ve done now for the people that are there, but also for the YES! graduates and what they will be able to do when they go in their own communities. As a humanitarian, seeing how YES! is working and contributing to the Haitian people has caused me to want to share more. I truly testify that participating in the organization of YES!, is truly rewarding and amazing. It is the first time I have seen this type of result from any organization working in Haiti.
Thank you and God Bless you,