Central team arrives in Haiti stepping out of their comfort and into the challenge from God to become fearless. 

Written by Emma Arickx

I’m going to be upfront, being the first blog is a bit intimidating because what exactly am I supposed to write? I’m not a blogger by far, but what is there to lose? So I thought I’d just talk about our day, trying to briefly touch on the many things that happened.

We all woke up today around 4 am about to get one heck of a day in. We got a lot of take-offs and landings by taking a 1940 WWII plane from Florida, to the Bahamas for fuel, to Cap-Haitien for customs and immigration, then finally to touching down on the grass strip in Pignon, Haiti.

We arrived!

We were immediately submerged in a new place, a new culture. We were driven to the MH4H Campus on trucks that we sat in the beds of and watched as we passed houses, stores, and adorable little kids in a place so unexplainable.

We met the staff, had lunch, tried out our Creole with getting groceries and browsing the market, and hiked to a suspension bridge—a narrow, wooden plank bridge that was very high up! We then made our way to support Kenedy, who works as the translator for MH, as he played soccer. I personally love soccer, and to experience it in a new country, how neat is that! This was all before dinner!

Watching the soccer match

New friends at the soccer game Learning a new game

Thinking back through this crazy first day that we stepped foot in Haiti, it seemed very fitting to talk about being fearless. We are in Haiti, this group of 15 from Pella, Iowa. One can only think getting out of that plane, “Woah, how did I get to be here?” We overcame fears, conflicts, you name it, and now we are here. It is so crazy to think about, and one amazing thing to look back at the over-comers we have already become on the first day in this new country. Gretchen had her first airplane ride, we all are taking on a new language trying to speak to the locals, I watched as Taylor danced with the little Haitian boys at the soccer game—there are many miracles that happened from being fearless, going for it, and trusting in Him. Getting the courage to step out and try, we have gotten to witness these beautiful images.

I’d like to share my experience by starting off with saying I have a pretty severe fear of heights. Now like I said before, this suspension bridge was very high up; I was terrified. But all I could think about was regretting not going across. I’m here now, why not? However, I stepped up and couldn’t do it, I walked away.

All I could do though was wonder why I couldn’t. I’d watched as the rest of my group walked perfectly across this bridge of planks and barbed wire so bravely and I wanted to be that; I wanted to push myself. But no matter what I did, I couldn’t step up. That was when Liz, one of the long term missionaries here, came up and took my hands to guide me across. It was then that I death-gripped both of her hands and shuffled all the way across this century long stretch. I whimpered and lost my breath, but I kept going with Liz. And once I was halfway, there was no turning back. It was then that I realized I was across, just like that. A huge sigh of relief came over me, I did it, but not too fast.

Flag Day at the bridge

I had to go back across to return. As my fear crept up on me again, Katelyn took my hand and guided me across as she just kept encouraging me. “I’m so proud of you, just keep looking forward.” Getting across the second time was bad, but good—doesn’t match up now does it? Well, while I cried and scared myself half-to-death, I realized I had just faced my biggest fear and had those around me to help. The support and the love surrounding me pushed me out of my comfort zone and got me to trust—trust in Liz, trust in Katelyn, that shocking bridge, and in Him because they each had a part in my fate.

Carrying tin across

There was a barrier up in me, and by doing this, it was now gone. Now without that breakage of fear, I wouldn’t have bonded with my team, with myself, nor with my faith in having the Lord there by my side. And now reflecting on the whole day and this experience, I don’t think there is a better way to sum it up than being fearless because every component of each of our day is us in unfamiliar situations. We are all being fearless and losing those barriers! And to witness that is amazing because it can all be rooted back to one thing—we are doing this, we are here, to do His work as He fills us up to fill up others. That is impossible with apprehension; you’ve got to get out there!

I know I can’t even do these experiences justice, but it sure is a blessing to see through my own eyes and to write so you, the readers, can be inspired to step out of your comfort for Him to reach others. There’s so many ways we don’t even realize how we can do so, nor how beautiful the outcome can be. Even just walking across a bridge, the empowerment in so many factors, it is truly amazing. With Him by our side, what do we have to lose? That is going to fuel our whole week.