Saturday, May 14, 2011


Hi Girls!

Below is the final Haiti recap I will be sharing with you from this amazing Spring Break 2011 Mission Trip that we took with many of our High School youth. I hope you’ve enjoyed this awesome testimonies from one awesome week out of our comfort zones and into the movement of the Lord in Haiti!

I want to invite you to join us TOMORROW, Sunday evening, May 15th at First Baptist Church, Cleveland, TN for a Haiti Recap Service at 6:30 PM in the sanctuary. It will be a sweet time not only to see pictures and hear from more students, but also to see which students went on the trip and encourage you to seek them out and hear their personal story of Haiti and God’s word there.

Below was written by Riley Kralik, a sophomore in our FBC Girls Ministry. Enjoy!

“To start things off, I would like to encourage anybody considering a mission trip, to just go. It is going to change your life; I guarantee it. But getting back to my trip, Haiti is an incredible country. I’ve never seen so much happiness, despite all the awful things that have happened to it recently. And the earthquake isn’t where it even all begun. Haiti, used to be a very prosperous country that was very wealthy, then after the slaves rebelled and the country declared its independence in 1804, the land had already been devastated by years of warfare, so agricultural foundation was all but destroyed, and the population was uneducated and largely unskilled. After years of that, you see what Haiti is today. 
But the country isn’t what the news makes it out to be. I’ve met the people, worshipped, and played some futbol with them.
The country has beautiful landscapes, people, and worship. The land itself, is just gorgeous. The trees and the sand, with the ocean, should be on a post card. The people, are just so happy, no matter what they have lost, what they have been through, or what they have seen. The entire ten days I was there, I never saw one kid, or adult, with a sad face, or a bad attitude. Most of them have lost their home, family members, and close loved ones. Yet they still have the strength to go through every day with such contentment, and a smile I will never forget. They taught me that it doesn’t matter if you have those new sunglasses or those jeans that are just to die for, because none of that matters when we go up to heaven. God doesn’t care what you looked like; he just wants an honest, open, loving heart that’s dedicated to Him. 

The two times I went to church in Haiti, I was amazed. The people raise their hands, sing so loud, and reach up to the Lord. Nothing like American worship. They just want to get closer and closer to Him, and watching them praise, and pray, made you want to join them! I’ve noticed that since I’ve been home, my style of worship has changed. I’m much more open, and I really feel closer to the Lord, because I’m not holding anything back. 

Another person that really touched me was Sammy. He was one of the guys that watched over us. He was talking to me one day about his life…as he was cutting open a coconut with a machete. He explained to me, how his mom died when he was 8, and his dad died when he was 9. And that made me really appreciate my parents right then. Next he explained to me how he went to the orphanage, and how the founder of SMI, Frank, came to visit him a lot, and would bring him something for Christmas, and how he showed Sammy love. Then, when Sammy was an adult, his girlfriend, who he was going to eventually propose to, was tragically killed in the earthquake. After all of that, this guy still wakes up with a smile, belts out to the Backstreet Boys, works with a determination and a willing heart, loves everyone, prays and worships the Lord, and goes to bed with a smile. His story made me realize that no matter what happens, if the Lord is with you, you will make it. Nothing is too big for Him. He takes care of you, and all your problems. Trust in Him to watch over you, and protect you.

Being in Haiti made me, and the rest of our team, soooo much more appreciative of what we have. The people there wear the same clothes two days in a row, and I get upset when my shirt doesn’t match anything I have. And most of them don’t take showers everyday because running water is not easily available. And here I am, so concerned that I haven’t had my eyebrows waxed in awhile. But now, those things aren’t on the top of my priority list. I am more concerned on how I’m showing God’s love throughout the hallways of my school, and not when I’m going to get my eyebrows waxed. (ha ha). Also, I’m not saying I won’t ever get my eyebrows waxed, but I am saying that I shouldn’t be so obsessed about getting them waxed as soon as I see a stray hair. Overall, everything I own, I take care of much better, and try to take much better care of it thank I did before this trip.

Lastly, through this whole journey, so many funny things happened. Some of the Haitian kids said I was “big”, a little girl named Ashley, pointed out my “moustache” and Abby Coulthard and I became best friends with Job. I’ve experienced some incredible things while I was there, made some lifelong friends, seen how other cultures act and worship, and realized that my calling to nursing is much more than what I thought it was. I can defiantly see how God is changing Haiti, one village at a time. It takes a lot of prayer and work, but in the end, seeing the lost receiving the gospel, is one of the most unbelievable things I will ever witness. I'm so thankful that I was able to be apart of the trip.“

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