–Sam Mulligan, of Cumberland University, shares his thoughts on Day 2 or their trip to Haiti. 

Bon jour (Hello). Je m’appelle (my name is) Sam.

Today was incredible–incredibly good, incredibly sad, and most of all incredibly eye opening.

Coming into Haiti yesterday was like film roll….miles and miles of rundown huts, trash, and children that had no shoes. Last night consisted of talking to the other members of the group, and I finally allowed some of my walls to come down. I got to talk and become closer with other members of the trip I didn’t know as well as others. These conversations helped me to realize we are all struggling.

This morning, I woke up to help Christie and Craig make Haitian French toast for breakfast. It was incredible to wake up to the sound of roosters and nothing but open land all around. As we began our day, we weren’t sure of what to expect, but we were excited. We headed to church with the National Woman’s Association for their woman’s day celebration. Our mode of transportation: a tap tap. Dubbed the name because everyone sits in the bed of the truck or on top and you “tap-tap” to start when you are ready and “tap-tap” to stop. Seeing the people of Haiti worship was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. They put their all into their worship; with no worry of who is watching or who is listening. Even though we could not understand what they were saying, the message was clear: they were worshiping the Lord of their lives whom they loved deeply. The CU Group got to participate in the dance “party” that the Haitians held. The ceremony was fantastic, and we loved being able to dance, especially with the children.

Interactive church service

The group then headed out to hand out food to five families that had been specifically chosen by a pastor in the area. We would bring a bag of rice, bag of beans, and some noodles and other items. We stood around to talk with the family also.

Food distribution before the rain

Food distribution before the rain

They pray for courage to face each day as their hope is in Jesus Keeping dishes clean on banana leaves

By the time that we got to the second house it was starting to rain, but we were still pushing through. In no time, it began pouring down rain. One thing to keep in mind: Haitian “roads” are nothing but dirt and rock. The roads quickly became extremely muddy and hard for the tap taps to get through. Every bit of the road included little children who ran to the side of the road and waved or just sat from their porches and yelled. It was amazing to see how just a smile on our face could excite one on theirs.

A man whose foot has remained swollen for over a year Bondy Beni ou! (God Bless You!)

Needless to say, we were all soaked by the time we made it back to the compound, but, hey, it made for a great adventure. For the rest of the afternoon we spent much needed time together as a group. We have grown so much over the past few days. In reflection, this trip has been difficult. Not only emotionally, but mentally and physically. These people need so much. How could we ever give them even a quarter of their needs? But we are here to help them to help themselves. I believe in us and I know God loves and is cheering for us through our struggling hearts and minds.

“My eyes are ever looking to the Lord for help, for he alone can rescue me.” Psalms 25:15

More in store for tomorrow