I learned what it meant to truly love in a relentless manner, how to die to myself, what I am supposed to do in life and the name of an orphan.
The funny thing is, I never planned on learning any of these things. In fact, I never planned on going to Haiti.
In the winter of 2015, I was at church and Coreluv had come to speak about what it means to defend the orphan. I had known about Coreluv for a while since their office is located in my church so I thought I knew what they were going to say, and for the most part, I did. What I didn’t know was what God was going to say that night.
I felt like I was being told to go to Haiti and actually experience what was being spoken about, but the catch was, I felt like I needed to be there longer than a week. I learned that there was an internship in the month of July, and, to make a long story short, I applied and made the team.
A few months passed and I found myself standing in an airport with seven strangers in a third world country. We didn’t speak the language, we knew nothing about the culture, and we knew nothing about each other.
The only thing we did know is that we were supposed to be where we were at that moment in our lives.
So we pushed through all the chaos in the airport and made our way to the trucks where we received a welcome from Micah, Rubens, and some other members of the Coreluv Haitian staff. We then started our journey to Gonaives. This ride is what gave us our first impressions of where we would be living for the next three weeks. I was blown away by the beautiful scenery that surrounded me, thrown off by all different smells, and overwhelmed as we passed through cities. Those three hours blew by, and I found myself standing in the center of the orphanage. This is when it sunk in that I was here doing what I was supposed to do.
Those twenty-one days all flew by so fast, and I could tell thousands of stories about all the funny and emotional things that happened, such as stapling my hand or playing with babies and my best friends, but the lessons and names are what is more important.
One of the most impactful things I learned was what love truly is. We’re always told growing up that “Jesus loves me” and we take that at face value and run with it. My perspective on this phrase changed dramatically while I was in Haiti. I had the pleasure of loving on the same boy, Jean Christian, every day for twenty-one days and I did so somewhat selfishly. I guarded my heart because I knew I had to leave him one day. That isn’t to say I loved this boy beyond words, it just means I was careful with my love.
When that day came all my walls I had built up trying to protect my heart came crumbling down and I was heartbroken. I loved so selfishly yet I still felt this way. After I stopped crying, I realized something crazy. God’s love for us is exponentially larger than what I had just experienced. If I was feeling this way after twenty-one days of selfish love, imagine what an eternity of a relentless and a far more beautiful love is like. It’s scary yet so beautiful thinking that God, the creator of heaven and earth, loves us like that.
Out of all of the lessons I learned, this one was by far the most impactful because love is the framework for all the things we experience. All the impacts we have, the things we learn, and the things we do are affected by love and our perception of what it is.
I encourage everyone reading this to consider going on a trip and experience this crazy love because I know your life, just like mine, will be changed forever.