Seven from Parker experience trip to Haiti

Posted April 2, 2014 at 9:25 pm

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Pastor Don Reiffenberger

An amazing adventure began on Wednesday, Feb. 5! Dave and Jerilyn Hansen from Helping Hands for Haiti led a crew from Parker on a mission trip to Haiti.

Gerry Schnabel, on her 12th trip to Haiti, helped six “newbies” from Grace Lutheran do “God’s Work…Our Hands.” The “newbies” included Ron Nelson, Gina and McKenzie Cole, Julie Anderson, Kimberly Ryan (Gerry’s daughter), and myself. We delivered dresses, shorts, shirts, Bibles, food, soccer balls, and a never-ending supply of smiles, hugs, and love!

Our evenings consisted of walking through the village around our mission house and having an endless number of children follow along. The number of followers grew each evening. No need for cell phones there! Word spread like wildfire that the “blanchs” (white people) were out, and we all became pied pipers with our merry little band of happy, smiling, children! We may have been delivering material items to help make life a little more comfortable, but they gave us so much more in return. The children sang and held our hands and smiled the most beautiful smiles you can imagine. The people of Haiti have a great deal to offer the rest of the world as well. They can teach us about sharing and caring for one another. Most importantly, they have a pure joy of worshiping and celebrating the love of God with others!

On many of our evening excursions, the children would sing very loudly, “Jesus Loves the Little Children!” They sang in Creole, but there was no mistaking the words. Over and over I kept wondering how people who have “nothing” in the eyes of most Americans, can sing and dance and praise God as if they have everything any person could ever possibly want or need! Yes, we have much to learn from the Haitian people! We’ve been home for several weeks now, but I cannot stop thinking about our trip to Haiti – especially the children! If I am ever given the opportunity to go again, I’m going! No doubt about that!

Here is an excerpt from my Tuesday, Feb. 11 journal: On our last afternoon at the mission house, we had ball-throwing contests for the kids in the village. They received prizes, and the ultimate winner was a nine-year-old girl. She got to come into the mission house for some cold pop – a treat of a lifetime! She beamed! We served a meal to over 300 people that evening and then watched movies projected onto the mission house wall. They absolutely loved it! We watched Magdalena and Happy Feet. We thought we were going to run out of food, but once again, we had just enough! Obviously, a “God thing!” You should have seen how happy everybody was to get lots of food! I had kids sitting on the ground with me. Most kids pulled up big rocks to sit on, because they thought it was hilarious that I sat down on the hard, dirty ground. I even had a little girl sit on my lap and fall asleep. The whole time, the kids were smiling and “petting” my arms and legs because of my hair. They were so good with sharing their food, too. It was very important for them to try and share their food with me first, before they would begin to eat themselves. They couldn’t understand that it was all for them. They just know how important it is to share something so amazingly wonderful with others they “love.” I will never forget that wonderful party night!

A big thank you to everybody in our community who helped support our mission trip in so many ways! If you ever have the opportunity to go on a mission trip – take it! Your life will never be the same again!