• Jeff Ulivich

Reflections on My First Trip to Haiti

I can’t really pinpoint when I knew that I would be going to Haiti. It was well before the planning for my mission even began; before I had even consciously thought of this undertaking. All I can say is that I just knew and felt that I had to go. I was being told to go, and I was listening to God in a way that I had, sadly, rarely done.

When we reached Plen Mapou, where the clinic is, I felt a sense of purpose. We were greeted by throngs of people wanting to see the mission group who had come to their home. It was a very welcoming feeling.

We met Evelyn and Beretha; the two young women that we sponsored to nursing school and who provide the needed care to their community. They take so much pride in taking care of the people in the area. They truly feel blessed to staff the clinic full time now.

We were also joined by Makenson Pierre. This young man was a member of St Paul’s parish and school when he was in America for medical treatment. He is such a wonderful spirit, and was essential for me being able to be successful. He was my buffer between English and Creole. They were truly gifts from God.

Over the five days that we staffed the clinic we saw well more than 300 patients. This mission’s focus was on dental care, but we were called on to adapt to the medical needs presented also. I was grateful to have a big part in that. I examined and treated so many people. It was phenomenal. I was serving the greater good.

My reality of basic needs was redrawn. Food, water, and shelter- these all became so much more important when I accepted that they are not guaranteed. The one basic need that the people we met did have in abundance was love. They worked together to provide for themselves. They lived love and gracefully shared it.

The vibrant colors of the rainbow are everywhere on the mountain. The trees are green. The “roads” are red clay. The mangos are juicy yellow. The sky is pure blue. The night sky is pitch black and scattered with the brightest white stars. The sun is the most beautiful yellow and paints the dawn orange. God truly blessed us with these.

#volunteering #internationalrelief

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