What I Learned During my Missions Trip to Haiti

Kim Portes is a junior in the college. She's from the Bronx, throws down some mean slam poetry and is currently studying abroad in Brazil. You can connect with her on Facebook. She's awesome. 

Kim Portes is a junior in the college. She's from the Bronx, throws down some mean slam poetry and is currently studying abroad in Brazil. You can connect with her on Facebook. She's awesome. 

The Haitian people showed me more about the Gospel than I could ever have expressed with words or 1 week of service. Their tight knit community served as a constant reference to how Christ calls us to live for and with one another. There’s so much to be said about my experience in Haiti, but these are two thoughts that have stuck with me:

Love is more than what you say. Its what you do.

Imagine if Christ said he would lay down his life for us, but in the end never did. When the day came that he was to be crucified Christ said, “Oh yea, about that...” Scary, because we wouldn’t be here. In Haiti, my actions had to speak louder than my words, especially since I didn’t speak the native language. I had no idea how to convey what was in my heart. Language can separate you from a group of people. Miscommunications occur even within the same language. But love, love is universal. It’s not enough to say you’re a follower of Christ; you need to show what Christ is all about. Christ selflessly helped others. Communed with people no else wanted too. And in the end, poured his entire self out. All for us. All for love. Don’t be embarrassed to act out of love because Christ wasn’t. In Haiti, I experienced love can mean to share the silence without feeling forced to fill it, to genuinely care for another person’s life, and to act because Christ acted on our behalf.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”  1 Peter 4:8

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

Jesus will put you on his shoulders. Dirt, slim, messed up and all…

In Haiti, we had a lot of opportunities to play with kids. I was excited because children just have a genuine joy for life that’s contagious. There was a moment where one child wanted me to pick him up. I had no problem. The only issue was he didn’t have on any pants or underwear. So... it was a bit awkward. Looking down at this small boy just screaming “Potem! Potem!” I kept smiling, but running away from him. As any child would, he insisted. For a minute, I placed myself in the boy’s position and thought how many times do I scream for Jesus to pick me up? How many times do I need Jesus to cleanse my heart and thoughts? And every time, with my sin, dirt, slim, and all, Jesus picks me up, puts me on his shoulders, and purifies my spirit. Jesus never tells me, Kim go put on some clean pants. Instead he covers me with his robe of righteousness. So who in the world am I to ever judge the cleanliness of an innocent child who wants to play? In the end, I placed the small boy on my back and we laughed at nothing at all until our faces hurt.

“I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness...” Isaiah 61:10