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Heart the Size of Haiti

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The first time I went to Haiti was the summer before my freshman year, and I've been there once since then. I can’t honestly say what made me want to go to Haiti. I think that maybe I reached that point in my life where I became restless — restless to do something important for the world regardless of whether or not it was noticed. I went to Haiti looking to help people and help them find what they needed but in the process of that I ended up finding the things that I had been missing in my own life. Being in Haiti made me realize how completely selfish and absorbed I had been in my own life. They made me realize that at the very base of everything I knew…it all came in second to God. When I looked at them I could see Jesus radiating out of their eyes and their smiles. I realized that they had nothing but God to rely on but that was enough for them.
The Haitians have absolutely nothing, but they find a way to be okay with that and make it through the day without a complaint. After the earthquake hit, newscasters had said how people were out on the streets singing and praising God. Imagine that, in the midst of disaster and chaos…singing. Going to Haiti made me take a good look at my own life and realize that I used to get mad at God for the littlest things. Yet in Haiti their lives were destroyed, they watched hundreds of people die and when I went back this past summer they still had the same bright smiles as when I went before the earthquake. They still had those eyes that could penetrate and all I could see when I looked into them, was a humble and loving person. It never failed to amaze me when I thought about it.
A couple of days out of my time in Haiti we went to work at a little boy’s orphanage. I miss them the most. I remember the first day I met them they had all been at school and I was in the orphanage and all 9 of them just came rushing in with big smiles painting their faces and they ran into my arms. I didn’t know a single one of them. This small act of love probably shouldn’t have surprised me at that point because that’s what everybody was like there but a love like that is never really something you can get used to.
They have this happiness that’s so contagious. They get it. They have a genuine joy that I think most of us would envy because at the end of the day that’s what everybody wants—to be happy. They’re the most inspiring people I know. Because they’ve done something so amazing that most people never accomplish. They have faith that could change this world. They changed mine.
If there’s one thing that I learned from going to Haiti it’s that happiness doesn’t depend on our circumstances, the situations that we’re put in. It can’t, I mean, if it did we’d never be content, we’d never be happy. For those of you who spend enough time with me, you know that I’m always happy. Probably to the point of being obnoxious sometimes but that’s not because I don’t have problems in my life. Everybody does. It’s because I choose to look at the good things because trust me there are plenty of them. The good things outweigh the bad every single time. Sometimes all you need to do is just take the time to look.
The one thing that I miss the most about Haiti is God. I found Him there. And I seem to lose him when I come back here. It’s so easy to see Him in a place like that. It’s hard to describe how it felt but it was as if God became palpable to me. He became real for the first time. Real in a way that I came to see he’s not just some distant God, meant to only study. I realized that he was right here, right with me.





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