Written by Dave Gritters, who traveled to Pignon, Haiti, on the Pella Christian trip March 9 – 17, 2012. Dave is from Pella, IA and this was his first trip to Haiti.
I was so blessed to be able to go to Haiti with my 15 year old daughter Calise. It was the first time that Calise had seen poverty. I have seen poverty before, but not so widespread as it was in Haiti. It was eye opening for us to witness people fighting over what we in the US throw away without thinking about. We were taught not to take anything for granted. One of our biggest highlights was to pray with people in the hospital. We were blessed to pray one night with a very sick old man. When we took his hand to pray, he suddenly lifted his other hand and he started to pray, not us. We had no idea what he was praying, yet we felt a connection with him before God as he was praying. We went back 2 nights later and were eager to see him again, only to find his bed empty. We don’t know if he died or not, but we kinda assume so. What if we were the last Christians to pray with him? What if he went shortly from praying with us to being in the arms of Jesus? We might never know that; but we know that we cannot miss out when the opportunity comes to pray with others. We are anxious to meet this man someday in Heaven and say “Remember that night in Haiti…?”
Probably what will stick with me the most though is seeing the hope in the eyes of the children. I see a future for Haiti that is good. I see people like Zeke, Woodson, Fransly, Pierre Pito… who are taking leadership roles in their country and setting a great example for others to follow. I see kids so eager to go to school and to learn. I cannot wait to sponsor children to go to the new Pella Christian. I now have 3 kids who are eager to go to Haiti, and 1 that would probably like to live there!!
Written by Art Van Wolde, who traveled to Pignon, Haiti, on the Pella Christian trip March 9 – 17, 2012. Art is the pastor at Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Pella, IA, and traveled with his daughter Maria.
On Sunday night we went to the hospital to pray for the many patients at the hospital. Being a pastor, I spend much time in hospitals and have seen and experienced many things. But I was not prepared for what I would witness. I’m used to very neat and orderly hospital rooms with plenty of chairs for family members to sit in while their loved one is a patient. As I walked down the halls, there were people lying on hospital beds on both sides of the hall. In a room there would be four or five beds. There were no chairs for family members. The hospital smelled like rum and I learned they used rum for a disinfectant. We asked to pray over the people and they were grateful for our prayers. But seeing the conditions and being used to what I am used to, I was moved to tears. My teenage daughter, who was with me on the trip, held her father and prayed with me as I cried. As I was leaving the hospital I realized that a few years ago Pella Regional Health Center had part of its building condemned by the state and it was demolished and replaced with a new hospital. The condemned building in Pella would have been a “Taj Mahal” in Haiti. Wow!
We complain about health care in America. We have much to be thankful for. The people of Haiti and especially the people in Pingon need quality medical care. It is essential for their health and well-being. What will we Christians in America do to help our sisters and brothers in Haiti?