Last month, Shelly Lutz and Jessica and Jonathan Martin joined the medical team of 10 from PA and Ohio to serve through Three Strands Ministry and CVM at the medical clinic housed on the property of the Bible Institute in Cap Haitien. While there, they served from morning till night, working alongside the incredible staff, translators, and Dr. T (a man loved and well-known by a number of Grace Church Haiti Team members who have been blessed by his care while battling sickness in-country). After serving 100-150 patients each day at the clinic, a morning in Bord-de-Mer with a mobile clinic, and a check-up for the kids at House of Hope Orphanage, there are too many stories to count. What an incredible mission field and opportunity to show the love of Christ. I asked our three friends from Grace to consider a few moments that stand out from their week in Haiti and some reflections they have had since returning home. Today, you’ll hear from Shelly.
[God bless Dr. T and his ministry!!]
My reflections of this trip are many which is often the case for me when it comes to Haiti. As I thought through the week, the people we interacted with kept coming to mind. People are the same all over the world regardless of their age, skin color, language, or class. We all want to be loved, remembered, and valued.
I had the opportunity to interact and pray one-on-one with so many people throughout the week. Listening to their stories and prayer requests was an experience I will cherish always. For a few minutes, I was given a glimpse of what their lives were like and became connected with these people. Looking into their eyes and listening to their stories revealed so much…hurt, pain, desperation, sadness, joy, hope, love, and peace.
No matter what the story or prayer request was, everyone wanted to be prayed for.
The simple thing of just listening to someone else’s needs was welcomed genuinely by those served by us. And it hit me how we can get lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and overlook that need by those around us. People enjoy conversations and interactions, whether it be the physical touch of a doctor or a conversation while waiting in line. There was genuine appreciation for what we were there for and what we were doing to serve.
[In line at the Medical Clinic]
Earlier in the week, there were times when I wondered if what we were doing was making a difference or if it was just a free clinic. But seeing the sincerity and thankfulness in the eyes or tone of voice in certain people quickly pushed those negative thoughts out of my mind.
At the end of the week, we had a single mom of three adorable little girls come back to the clinic for a recheck. She herself had an eye issue and could only see clearly out of one eye. Her toddler daughter has some serious health issues going on as well. After her exam, she had her two older girls hand a slip of paper to Jessica Martin, Beth (a teammate from Ohio), and me. In broken but neat English, she had written her sincere thanks for our being there all week. It brought tears to my eyes and it reminded me of the Bible story of the ten lepers (Luke 17). One came back to give thanks after being healed.
I don’t know if God will heal her eye or her daughter but I do know that He heard every single prayer from that week. I do know that giving of yourself makes a difference in another person’s life, no matter where you are. I do know that we all need love. From Michel, the 85 year old man still thinking about accepting Jesus, to the young man who accepted Christ on Friday, all were impacted by this team. And God has all of us in His hand, waiting to use us at the right time.
All we have to do is be willing.
We serve an amazing God who has a plan to use us for His glory (yes, even on a Monday). If you’d like to talk or learn more about serving, no matter where it is (Grace Church, locally, or in Haiti), contact our missions coordinator, Alyssa Weaver at firstname.lastname@example.org. Grace is sending our next Haiti team this July to co-host a VBS with HoH. Find out more about their trip and ways you can support them (financially and through prayer) at our missions table in the lobby!
[Goodbyes at House of Hope]