i have been to haiti twice now & i have made lasting friendships & even better- i have gained family.
one of those relationships come in the form of an 11 year old (soon to be 12). he is little ball of energy, so smart, so caring, and his heart is huge for his age. he is so funny & keeps us all laughing. friday we will be picking him up from the air port & my heart is wanting to skip these next few days. his name is wedds.
there is also guytho- the best soccer player in haiti as he would say. he is not ashamed of his love for the lord & is always willing to help us every trip. he is also always willing to pose for the camera & sing so loud when we do worship.
billy "billy goat" is sometimes quiet, but once you get him in conversation you realize what a sweet spirit he has. when we were there in may sarah & i were helping take people after their intake appointment to another building for medicine and care from the medical team. they had these sheets with how many family members and info about their family that they would carry so we could give it to the intake team. billy walks up & says, "evanda i am here for you if you need any help", I said, "ok, thank you billy" he then proceeds to tell me that we need one of those papers for me, him, cory, nick, & ronda because we are family. a little light went on in my head and my heart turned into a puddle. "yes billy, we are family"
pepe is amazing. he is wedds older brother & one of the sweetest guys i have ever met. his love for the lord is captivating & encouraging. the saturday before we left he gathered us all into the living room in the apartment we were staying at and told us he wanted to thank us for coming to haiti & loving his country. a country that he is so proud of & you can tell his heart is for his people. he wouldn't like me bragging on him like this, but i cannot help it. wedds was in tears because they were leaving that day & we didn't know when we would see him again. pepe opened up his bookbag and pulled out what looked like a bleach bottle. a towel and a little plastic bin. ronda & i looked at each other and the tears were flooding. he started to wash one of our team members feet, samuel joined him & he made his way around the room. praying & washing each one of our feet. i cannot begin to tell you what that did to my heart & my eyes. for those of you who do not know the significance of what washing someones feet really means, please look it up on your own time & read about it or go here this is a pretty easy read about it. before i went to haiti the only thing i knew was what i was told, or what the news/internet told me. you go there knowing that they don't have much, material things anyways. there is a lot of poverty, but i feel like they have so much more in spirit than we do. they trust & know god on a completely different level. pepe washing our feet & thanking us for coming there just blew me away, i should be washing his feet thanking him for opening up my eyes to see so much truth about myself & about the lord. we take so much for granted & i came back from haiti with my life forever changed. my whole perception was changed. what i wanted and expected out of life was forever changed.
i cannot forget samuel. so sweet. so funny. always telling jokes and playing pranks. i feel like i have gained another brother & i look forward to his huge smile every-time i go. he always asks me questions about my life & takes the time to get to know me. i appreciate that so much. he takes care of our team each time we go to haiti & helps out anyway he can. look at him you guys. you can see kindness in his face. he is so handsome.
there is junior. he is an amazing artist & one of the guys i talk to the most being back in the states. he is very soft spoken & sweet, which seems to be the theme with my new friends/family. he is so very handsome & is always so welcoming to our teams.
i feel like every person i come in contact with is gorgeous. every child, woman, man, they all are so beautiful. i am so blessed to be able to go to haiti each time, & every person that donates to help get the estes there is such a blessing. you have helped change our lives & theirs at the same time. here are some of my favorite pictures o we have taken while we are there. (we being ronda & i, as we do photography together)
last but def. not least is my sweet boy wilderson. i love him so much it hurts & i think of him every single day.
this was him from my first trip.
he was so shy & maybe said 3 words to me on our first day there. our last day we went back and as soon as i met eyes with him he said, "evanda". heart=happy. he remembered me. he wouldn't even tell me his name the first time we went there or the last.
this past trip however, he drew it on my arm. he also wrote on a piece of paper for me. he was so sweet leading me around the playground telling what certain things were in creole & i would tell him in english. what i would do to bring him home with me. i would do anything. it is so amazing to me how you can meet someone and not know anything about them & have such a strong connection to them. the lord is amazing and connecting our hearts to others.
ronda took my favorite picture of him so far. he is so handsome & his face says so much.
i love you wilderson & i cannot wait to see you again.
this is just a little about my heart for haiti, if you would ever like to donate to our trips (which is tax deductible) you can do so my emailing me- firstname.lastname@example.org
mwen renmen ayiti.
p.s. ronda- you are my kindred spirit. that close friend i feel like i have searched for, for so long. thank you for introducing me to haiti & adding to my family. thank you for speaking to my heart on so many occasions. thank you for being my business partner and dreaming with me. thank you for showing me an example of a godly mother and wife. you are such a light to me, you inspire me & you motivate me to chase my dreams. mwen remen ou.