Traveling - My Family Travels

    Traveling has been a huge part of my life. When the opportunity came up for me to travel with Christian Service International, I couldn’t wait to go. The trip was planned for 15 missionaries and me to go on a mission trip to Haiti. I thought that when I got to Haiti I would be changing the life of at least one Haitian, instead they changed me in ways I wouldn’t imagine. Everyday I spent with the Haitians gave me a greater respect for the things I have and reminded me to put my faith in Christ even when things get hard.
    On the first day I was in Haiti my two cousins, Aubrey and Natalie, and I were standing on the roof looking at the houses below. We saw three boys and a girl playing in what looked like a large cement tub used for washing clothes. We were all amazed at what joy these kids took in playing without electricity. At lunch time we had to sit inside the small church storage room to eat lunch. As we sat there all the children would sit and watch us eat. Not once did I see the children go home for lunch or a drink. I wanted so bad to give my lunch up to my new friends but we knew that if we gave one child a sandwich then everyone would be there wanting food. Aubrey gave up eating everyday because she felt so guilty. The worst thing I saw was the barbed wire and broken glass sticking out of the top of every security wall around every home. Every child I met in Haiti was very skinny and begging for food. Seeing them is what made me realize who they were really keeping out. I could imagine my new young friends trying to climb these walls just to get a bite of food or a drink of water. It is easy to see how all this has made me extremely grateful just to have three full meals a day and a bed to sleep in.
    We all remember the songs of joy and praise after the devastating earthquake in Haiti as an example of their great passion for Christ. It seemed like the devastation was a renewal to their faith but from my experience in Haiti they face many of those same challenges everyday and use the same methods to cope. Praising Christ for a chance to breathe or water isn’t something they needed reminder to do. You could hear the people singing praises as we sat on the rooftop at night. At the Vacation Bible School we put on for the children they sat in total silence as we told the stories of the Bible. Then, they sang with an excitement that could have only come from the heart. After seeing the eagerness those children had I have never looked at our VBS the same. I now see how happy my life can be when I turn to Christ for everything.
    I am thankful for the opportunities I have had to travel, not only to Haiti but around this wonderful country of ours and I look forward to more travel in my future, to share my experiences and to learn more about the cultures of this world.  I am working towards a degree in Chemistry and I want to use my experiences of travel and meeting others to set goals for myself.  I want to use those goals and my acquired knowledge and schooling to develop products and medicines that will change our world.

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