By: Bailey Estes, LiveBeyond volunteer
Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to go on a medical mission trip where I can use my skills to help those who do not have access to medical care. I found everything I was looking for and so much more at LiveBeyond. Nothing can prepare you for the incredible experience of being able to touch the lives of the people of Haiti and how they touch your life in return.
I have been a nurse at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene, Texas for three years. I first heard about LiveBeyond through a coworker, and I immediately knew that I had to go. I first went in June 2015 and recently returned in April 2016. I already plan to return in August with a group of friends and church members.
I have never experienced anything more amazing than medically serving hundreds of people in a span of four days. I was able to sit with our patients, listen to the problems they were having, treat them, and pray with them. Even if their problem was simple, such as a headache, we would give them a Tylenol, and they would be so grateful. I quickly realized it wasn’t just about giving these people food or medicine; these gifts were small in comparison to the love we were able to lavish upon them.
The people of Haiti are so beautiful and graciously share their home with us every time we visit. Even though they are living through seemingly impossible circumstances, their faces still radiate with the love of Christ. Everyday is a battle to live for the people in this community. The hardships they endure are written all over their faces, and you can see it deep in their eyes. I can’t imagine how they can manage to smile when living in such oppression. But they still find reasons to smile, and it is the most beautiful sight in the world. It is impossible not to fall in love with everyone you come in contact with, especially the children.
The true meaning of the Gospel comes to life in Haiti through the work of LiveBeyond. Love has transformed Thomazeau. Love that comes in the form of clean water, food, shelter, jobs, education, and medical treatment. LiveBeyond mission trips are so versatile, and there is literally something for everyone to do. Your skills and education are put to use in Haiti, so you don’t even have to have medical experience to make a difference.
Looking back on my trips, it is extremely hard to single out any moment as my favorite because I have experienced so many amazing things there from feeding starving babies to playing jump rope with the Kè Pou Timoun children. I find myself often thinking about Mr. Cartile. He is a hard working widower trying everything he can to give the best he can to his children. When we visit his village, he is always insistent that we come to his house. His house is smaller than most people’s laundry rooms, but he is so proud of what he has. He greets each and everyone as we walk though his house. He takes it as such a great blessing for us to walk through his house. It brings me to tears every time I think about how grateful he is for what little he has and that he feels so blessed by us just coming to his house. It seems like such a small and simple thing in comparison to everything that is going on in Haiti. Of all the things he could ask for, of all the things we could do for him, he simply wanted us to come to his home.
I feel that God works most powerfully in those seemingly small moments where all you have to do is simply show up, nothing more. It reminds me of when Elijah went onto the mountain to see the Lord. A great wind, fire, and earthquake came, but the Lord did not choose to come in either of those, instead, He came in a gentle whisper. I feel that the Lord uses many people in Haiti through a gentle whisper in the form of a smile, a touch, the giving of a Tylenol, and the simple presence of a caring heart.