Emma De Groot (fourth from the left) is a junior at Northwestern College majoring in Public Relations. She will be in Haiti with Many Hands for a total of three weeks. Emma has been to Haiti three other times but this is her first time with Many Hands.

To read the previous blog from this group click here

 Haiti is a country of abundant beauty. I see this so clearly in the relationships, people, culture and landscape. A while back we had the opportunity to visit Bassin Zim, a waterfall about an hour and a half away from Many Hands. Whenever our group travels to another location, we always ride in the back of a tap tap. This allows us to fully take in all of our surroundings, and even greet those we pass by. Around the Pignon area there are large mountains that almost surround the ‘valley’ and provide a beautiful backdrop to the cities and villages that lie beneath them. 

From the top of the truck I could not help but sit in awe of the creation that God led me to for these short three weeks. The farmers work so diligently in their fields and the lush countryside speaks to their hard work. Children run to greet us with a wave and the occasional ‘how are you?’ in English. The smiles we exchange as we pass by melt my heart and make me so aware of the things we share, rather than our differences. I have such a deep appreciation for the people that live here and the work that they do. There certainly is suffering and pain – but the people find joy in their suffering. They do not become discouraged or angry for what is out of their control. We only get a glimpse into their lives as we drive by, but the resilience, hope, and determination they process is clear. 

“…there was nowhere else in the world I would have rather been. Language did not matter. 

We were together with our Haitian friends…”

The waterfall was incredible, and in the moments we spent in the pool at the top of the falls, there was nowhere else in the world I would have rather been. Language did not matter. We were together with our Haitian friends celebrating those brave enough to jump or dive or flip into the flowing water. We laughed and enjoyed the refreshing pool on the warm sunny day. There is beauty in being together.

That same evening after dinner we were talking with Craig. He mentioned asking the woman who does our laundry to come for two days next week instead of one because of the large group. She replied with, “Yes, I can work both days if God wills”. If God wills. That is something that so many Haitians ‘tack’ on to the end of many sentences. They are so aware of how everything that they do is because of God, or in the name of God. This short phrase has been on my mind a lot lately, because honestly, I tend to do things on my own as if I do not need to rely on God. I am reminded that I have to give God all of my attention and trust. Tomorrow is not promised, but the love our Father has for us is steadfast. I hope to never forget this seemingly small, yet ever true and powerful message. A beautiful glimpse into this woman’s faith, and ultimately her whole person. 

God has blessed me in many ways on this trip. I am most thankful for the relationships I have had the opportunity to make, the stories that have been so graciously shared, and the love God so evidently has for His people.