It couldn’t be any more official. I’m going to Haiti, and soon.
Before I go, I thought it would be a good time to look back, and also look forward with anticipation.
I spent all of February sharing my journey to Haiti. I shared the heart I had for child sponsorship since I was a child myself. I let you in on the moment when the rubber hit the road, when our family was able to meet some of the physical needs of children living in an orphanage in Haiti. I edited and republished a post that’s near and dear to my heart, the post in which I tell the unforgettable story about my ONE day in Haiti 16+ months ago. And I shared a little insight into my heart’s journey – the crazy feelings, the quiet reflections, and the certainty with which I’ve been called to go.
As I reflect on all that’s happened and make my final preparations, I realize I haven’t shared much about this trip to Haiti. While I can’t share every detail because I wish to maintain a certain level of privacy and ensure safety along the way, I’m excited to share these 10 nitty gritty details about my trip to Haiti!
1) I’m traveling with Compassion International. According to the Compassion website, “Compassion International is a Christian child development organization dedicated to releasing children from poverty. Our ministry is twofold: We work through local churches to provide child development programs to deliver children from economic, physical, social and spiritual poverty, enabling them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults. And we speak out for children in poverty – informing, motivating and equipping others to become advocates for children.”
2) I received my first email about Compassion’s sponsor trips last winter. I knew immediately it was an opportunity I wanted to take. On July 1, 2013, I completed the online registration and clicked the button that meant I’d be traveling to Haiti in February 2014.
3) In November 2013, I received a box from Compassion which included some basic supplies I’d need for the trip, as well as an information packet with details about our trip and preparations we’d need to make before leaving. Approximately two weeks ago, we received a final mailing from Compassion, which included our itinerary for the six-day trip, emergency contact information, and list of fellow travelers.
4) My journey will be shared with 22 individuals from across the United States. I don’t know anyone else going on the trip! Does this make me a little nervous? Yes. But remember, I’m the person who has absolutely no problem going to a restaurant or movie theater by myself, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be just fine.
5) While in Haiti, we’ll be visiting two Compassion child development centers. Hundreds of children receive care at each child development center, so it’s bound to be an exciting and moving experience. We’ll observe the staff at work, and will also have plenty of opportunity to engage with the children one-on-one and in small groups. Ya, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be in my element.
6) Two days, we’ll have the opportunity to visit the homes of families and children assisted by Compassion. We’ll visit homes of moms and babies enrolled in Compassion’s Child Survival Program, and we’ll visit homes of children registered in the Child Sponsorship Program. It’s going to be an absolute honor and delight to visit families’ homes in Haiti. I’ll have more to say about these home visits in future posts. Guaranteed.
7) I’ll be spending ONE FULL day with our TWO sponsored children! I just received notice five days ago that each sponsor will have their own translator assigned for that day so our communication with the children will be completely unhindered. I’m pretty sure each child will be accompanied by one significant other, so I’ll be spending that day with 1 sweet boy, 1 sweet girl, and 2 significant adults. As you might imagine, I’m really excited about this day.
8) We’ll be spending one day in Port-au-Prince, where we’ll visit the Compassion Haiti country office and spend some time on the ground perusing the markets and engaging locals. This day will wrap up with a unique opportunity to meet with graduates of Compassion’s Child Development Program who are now enrolled in Compassion’s Leadership Development Program. It’s going to be compelling to hear, first hand, how Compassion has changed the lives of these young adults.
9) Five days ago, I received word that the wi-fi at the location we’ll be staying at in Haiti is great. So if all goes well, wi-fi continues to be great, and time allows, I plan to blog every day I’m in Haiti. If you don’t hear from me one day, know I’ve hand-written something in a journal and will post later as time and/or internet connection allows.
10) And last, but definitely not least, I wanted to introduce you to our Compassion children. Bethchaida, our sponsored child, is 5-years-old and will be turning six in April! We’ve been sponsoring her since August 2012. And Djino, our correspondent child, just turned 12-years-old at the end of January. We’ve been corresponding with him since December 2012. So excited to meet these children and show them just how much they are loved.
Blessed to share this journey with you.
*This is part of a month-long series about my journey to Haiti. Click here to read all the posts in the series.