Written By Silentor Esthil-Henderson on March 7, 2012
WOW, it was an amazing two weeks back in Iowa making connections and building relationships. The only negative part of this trip was when I first arrived in Chicago, I had totally forgotten it was winter in Iowa. I only had a T-shirt on me! When I got out the airport door, my only wish was to jump back on the plane and return to Haiti. Lucky enough my friend Tim Brand treated me as if I was his date and gave me his coat to warm up while he froze his behind. Tim, I love you man! My hope is when Tim comes to Haiti, I will wipe the sweat off his face for him to show my appreciation. It’s good to have JOY while serving God.
While in Midwest Iowa, I was hosted by the Rick and Cheryl Nikkel family of Sully, Iowa. The Nikkels treated me as one of their own children. They welcomed me with open arms and made my stay very comfortable. They provided me my favorite drink (Mountain DEW) during the whole stay. They also allowed me to watch HGTV-House Hunters International when I was around, since they knew that was my favorite show. I feel blessed to call them my friends. One of the Nikkel boys has headed to college recently to become a pilot. I am so excited for him. I believe he will be a great pilot. My hope is that one day he will fly me back to Haiti. My prayers are that he will excel in school and become a wonderful pilot.
During the whole two weeks, I had meetings all over Midwest Iowa. My meetings involved raising awareness for my work in Haiti as well as our “180 Campaign” which is to build a school for about 130 children. I had the opportunity to speak at Central College in Pella, IA. A large number of students, professors, farmers and parents attended to see how they can be involved with Many Hands for Haiti. It is an inspiration when I see how many people care about my work in Haiti and for the country of Haiti.
My week ended with seeing my adoptive father Tommy Henderson that I had not seen for about 4 months. Tommy had just gotten back from visiting friends in Florida. Finding I was going to be in Iowa, he cut his trip short to come see me. I love you, Tommy. From there, I had interviews with newspapers such as the Quad City Times, Moline Dispatch and the Catholic Messenger (to see the QC Times article, click here). These are all writers who saw the good that Many Hands for Haiti is doing and wanted to help us raise awareness and to share my story.
I wish to thank you, everyone, for all your support, time and effort you put into being involved in this ministry. This work cannot be done by me alone; it is done by all God’s children who want to help the sick and the poor.
Here is a Godly thing that happened to me on this trip:
While in Haiti, my tooth started hurting me. I had a hard time going to sleep at night, at times I really wanted to cry. I would have gone to see a doctor in Haiti but I felt that they would not have been able to do anything for me; only making it hurt worst. I fought it out until I came back to Iowa. I was afraid to go to the doctor here as well because I knew I would not have been able to afford it. I had no money to cover a dental bill. This all changed one day when I shared with a friend that I had tooth pain. He had a friend that was a dentist and spoke to this friend about me. Next thing I knew I was in the dental chair. I was still worried because no one talked about what this was going to cost me. I found out I needed 4 fillings—OUCH! After I got all the fillings done Dr. Dahm of Pella gave me my form that had my information and cost. As I got out of the chair, Dr. Dahm congratulated me for what I was doing in Haiti and said, “I will see you next time you come back to Iowa.” As I was walking to the receptionist to check-out, I looked down at my form and saw $0. Dr. Dahm did not charge me for anything at all. Before I left, I asked the receptionist, “What would this have cost me?” She replied, “About $1500.” WOW, God is so good. God had used Dr. Dahm to help me with my pain so I can better help the people of Haiti. This was my Godly story on this trip. My life is in God’s hands!