In June of 2016, I had the opportunity to spend almost a month in Haiti as a Coreluv intern.
Throughout my time in Haiti God altered my life in ways that I never expected.
As June was approaching, I had several emotions regarding living in a house full of people I did not know, for almost a month, in another country. I had only been to Haiti once before for eight days in July of 2015, and fell completely in love.
When emotions and nerves would begin to rise, the Lord would quickly remind me of the passion he birthed in me for His people.
My life prior to the internship felt managed by vague decisions, with no idea what was next, much less the big picture of what I was working toward. I took a break from college, with no idea how long it would be, in a phase of life called “I just don’t know.” I believed God had a plan for me, but I was not sure if I was on the right track to getting where He wanted me to be. God took me to a third world country, away from the busyness and distractions of life, to pull me away and say, “I hear your prayers, I see your heart, and I know every frustration and concern. I know exactly where you are. You are where I want you. I have carried you this far, and I won’t leave you now.” Petty prayers, concerns that I felt carried the weight of the world and areas of my life I was unaware that needed fixing, were all confronted and answered. God saw that I was used in areas where I felt most insecure and stretched me to find joy, not in the task itself, but in serving Him. I did not wake up with a servant’s heart every day.
Some days I woke up exhausted and full of self, but through others and devotions, Christ would remind me that I am here to “die to self.” Life is not about me, but about being a servant, about being as much like Jesus as I can be.
Through a child at the orphanage, God showed me exactly what that looks like. One Sunday, I met this beautiful thirteen year old girl, Rosemanie.
Although an orphan, raised without a mother to show her the purest form of love that I have ever known, she radiated a love that is immeasurable. The love she showed for her sisters, the encourager she was when nobody was watching her and the helpful hand she continued to be to the nannies did not scratch the surface of the love she carried. Rosemanie and I became close friends, but she will never know how she challenged me to be a better person, to be a better Christian.
I find it easy to believe that God sees my life much like how He helped me see Haiti. For “American eyes” it is easy to recognize the brokenness of the people, and the filth and sin that runs deep in Haiti’s culture. Through only the eyes of potential for what the Lord can do with Haiti, God showed me a beauty in the people, their passionate culture, and the vision of transformation they can experience through Christ alone.
I, being human, was born into sin and have lived a life of filth and disgrace that is unworthy, but through redemption by the blood of Jesus, God looks at my life and sees a life of potential and beauty. This truth was revealed to me more throughout my internship than ever before. Through the growing pains and reflections experienced, I know God called me to this trip to connect the blurry steps to show me my calling to help “defend the orphan” in whatever capacity He calls me.
Maybe He is calling you to join a mission trip to Haiti.
Written by Kelsey Sheffield