A Missionary’s Testimony

haiti-3From Poverty Blog: Going overseas on a missions trip can really change a person. A photographer for the Muncie Star Press experienced that change when she went to Haiti with World Renewal International. From her essay in the Star Press, Jeri Reichanadter relates some of what she saw.

Well, they were right. Haiti did change me. It showed me how truly blessed I am, how blessed we all are. Unemployment in Haiti is at 80 percent and they don’t have stop-gap systems like welfare to meet people’s needs. No homeless shelters, no food stamps, no government assistance. Imagine, no jobs, no welfare, no clean water, no food.

My mom couldn’t understand why I wanted to go to Haiti when people in America need help right here. Honestly I didn’t quite know myself until after I was there a few days. Now I know, the Bible commands us to love one another. It doesn’t say just love Americans. It says “one another.”

I saw poverty in Haiti like I’ve never imagined. I saw men, women and children pat their tummies with both hands as we drove past signaling that they were hungry. I saw babies with runny noses and red-hair, the tale tell sign of malnutrition. I saw people walk miles for clean water. They’d fill their 5-gallon buckets to the brim and carry them home balanced on their heads.

And my faith was made stronger while traveling up and down the mountains in the tiny tap tap. I watched one day as the driver turned the truck off and coasted downhill to preserve gas. His gauge hovered near E for more than an hour. If we’d run out of gas I have no idea what we would have done. God, you brought us here, I have faith you’ll bring us safely home.

It wasn’t all bad though.

I also saw much happiness in the children of the orphanage. They greeted us with a hand shake and a kiss on the cheek every time we saw them. Together we played games, hiked up a mountain and took many pictures, like we’d been a part of their family forever. During their regular Sunday evening worship time, they sang praise songs and did dances for Jesus, it was amazing to witness.