The After Story of Haiti

It was very life changing being in Haiti with the leaders and students from our church. Many life changing events happened to and through me when we were there. It was my first trip on a plane, and when we flew in over Haiti the first thing I remember seeing was a small motorbike and burning trash across the roads.  This was at 8:30 at night there.

I came in expecting Haiti to be a very deep and hopeless place where people didn’t care for anyone around them.

What I got was completely different. I’ve never experienced something that was in such a bad situation, but still found a sense of hope and a sense of peace in what they were in. I saw smiling faces through faces that had been beaten. I saw feet running with heels that had been cut and bruised by rocks and glass.

I had to see past the devastation and see the beauty of what God had placed in Haiti.

I had to reach through all the burning trash to grab the diamond so I could see the beauty.

A verse that was laid on my heart while we were in Haiti was Psalms 68:5-6. It says,

“Father to the fatherless, defender of widows- this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; he sets prisoners free and gives them joy. But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.”

In this verse I found that everyone has a father, even those who do not have parents. They will always have father that will never leave them. God is always with them. And He will always do His best for us. He does nothing less. He does better than perfect. He always does more than we can ask for.

He will change your life, if you allow him to be in it.

Something I was so amazed by was how much people were striving to do everyday in Haiti to change how people live their lives. Cathy and Beaver from 2nd Story Goods are two of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. What they’re doing in Haiti is unreal.

They believe that providing people with opportunities instead of giving them things is more important. They look at the skills of these men and women and see what they can make that will sell to other people so that they can make money. They are trying to not put people out of business. So they said if they do buy anything to give to someone, they’re going to buy it from someone in Haiti so their business will keep going.

I didn’t just see hope in adults, I saw hope in all the kids. They lived in trash. Literally, trash was burning outside of their houses. But they didn’t care. They were focused on the things they had and the things they could do rather than the things they don’t have and the things they wish they could do.

They quickly learned our names and by day two they knew who we were with our backs facing them and ran up and hugged us. I’ve never seen so much joy and happiness in something that looks so dark and devastated. It was the real definitions of beauty.

This was my first mission trip and I’ve got many more to go. My work is not done in Haiti.  But it’s also not done in Chattanooga. I don’t understand why people can make a difference in another country on the other side of the world but can’t do it in their own town.

This trip taught me that the world is not dark. There is so much good that towers over evil in the world. You just have to get past the devastation to see it.

A friend, Nikki Hicks, which was on our team, said something that will always stick with me and what I want you to remember from my time in Haiti.  She said, “Sometimes you just have to explore the ugly to find the beauty.”

Jacob Chapman