Laura Nicholson (pictured first on the left) is the IMPACT Manager for Many Hands. She has worked full-time for Many Hands since March of 2019. Laura has been to Haiti several times and was a co-leader for the staff trip.
While I am no stranger to trips to Haiti, having now gone several times, God continues to use each time to reveal something new and provide gentle reminders of what He showed me previously.
The recurring theme of this trip was seeing through a set of fresh eyes. It had been a year since I had been in Haiti so I was looking forward to returning and reconnecting with my Haitian brothers and sisters. This trip carried a different weight than my past trips, this trip was about experiencing Haiti alongside my coworkers, exposing them to the different departments, staff, and love that makes up Many Hands for Haiti. It was about listening, sharing in their experiences, and answering questions along the way. This trip stretched my leadership, my cultural understanding, and my perspective.
“Time and time again, we were reminded by our Haitian brothers and sisters that as an organization we cannot accomplish our mission without one another and God’s divine power”
It was exciting to be a part of my coworkers’ stories and for them to be a part of mine. I saw Haiti anew through their questioning faces, childlike eyes of wonder, and the heartache they experienced. This team jumped right in, not wanting to miss a beat – wanting to know the mission of Many Hands. Time and time again, we were reminded by our Haitian brothers and sisters that as an organization we cannot accomplish our mission without one another and God’s divine power. Each employee in the US plays a critical part of what we are able to do in Haiti and vice versa; we wouldn’t be Many Hands without our staff in Haiti.
“As our team interacted with community members and leaders, we were able to hear their stories. You hear more about what God is doing in their lives than what they are missing.”
Haiti is hard, we hear so much about the bad things that are happening, but you can’t help but feel hopeful and uplifted when you talk with our Haitian coworkers. You see the glint in their eyes when they talk about the future of Haiti and how they are a part of the change. I had the chance to talk and hear Kethlin’s story, our PMJ Program Manager. He shared with me about his wife, kids, and the vision that he has for Haiti. He told me that he loves to wake up every morning and go to work because he gets to spend the day with his coworkers that have become more of a family. They get to be a part of impacting the lives of the moms, dads, and kids that come to the program. His sentiment brought tears to my eyes as I know exactly how he feels – the “job” I do, isn’t a typical 9 to 5 job, it is a lifestyle that I can share with this family as we work to be love in action.
God continues to remind me of the great work He is doing around the world. As our team interacted with community members and leaders, we were able to hear their stories. You hear more about what God is doing in their lives than what they are missing. A continued takeaway is the Haitian’s unrelenting faith in Jesus Christ – those that believe have this unwavering and unfaltering faith, something that is truly beautiful to witness. I am in a continued place of awe and wonder as God adds more pieces to the puzzle to show a country that yet so broken, is beaming with people who fill their communities with hope. It was a blessing to be able to lead this team, witness God’s work, and live in community with my Haitian brothers and sisters.