James R.

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The trip to Haiti was an unforgettable experience. I wasn’t really sure what to expect before the trip, and anything I did expect was miniscule compared to what Haiti had to offer. Even the mountains were different than I had imagined. Although not the tallest mountains, they were very rocky and steep. Haiti definitely offered more to us than we could offer it.

The people were beautiful as well as very nice. I don’t know where in America you can wave to a complete stranger and get a wave and bright smile in return as if you just made their day. Teaching the Haitians about photography was so satisfying because they all were so excited to learn and were engaged the whole time. Something I found beautiful was how openly Haitians expressed their love for God. The people of Haiti have a strong relationship with God and they aren’t afraid to speak about Him or prayer.

We didn’t just leave Haiti and its people with some new knowledge on how to shoot pictures, but we left Haiti with new experiences, new friendships, and moments that we will never forget. I think it’s safe to say that many of us left some of our heart in Haiti and all would love to return soon.

We were constantly reminded to try and seek where God was while we were in Haiti. He was everywhere we looked, everywhere we photographed, anywhere we let Him in.  One afternoon we were all in a small classroom shack and monsoon rain had suddenly came out of nowhere and poured onto the classroom. We were unable to go outside and take photographs, but instead we sang a couple songs together. They were Christian tunes that everyone had learned growing up. What was special was that even though the teachers sang in English and the Haitians spoke in Creole, we were all able to sing in unison. At that moment it really made me think, how, even though we were from two completely different countries, looked nothing alike, and spoke two very different languages, we both had the same exact God and the same love for God.

This trip couldn’t have came at a better time in my life. If it had been even a year earlier, I wouldn’t have been able to have gone. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have been mature enough to even take this trip in serious thought. It was God’s will that all of us young adults were put together for this week and He gave us a beautiful week that will be remembered in all of us for the rest of our lives.

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