By: Cobi Barker, LiveBeyond volunteer
I served on my first medical mission trip in December 2014 with LiveBeyond. I had never been on a mission trip, out of the country, or alone traveling! I was definitely nervous and full of negative thoughts. I have never heard the Devil more clearly as I began the trip to Thomazeau, Haiti. I am not likeable; no one will talk to me. I am a Christian, but I am not wise enough to share the gospel. I want to have a career in the medical field, but I am not qualified to help these sick and hurting people. I don’t know the language, so how am I supposed to communicate? What am I doing here?!?
I found the answer to that question the very first morning in the most basic task; tying food bags to hand out at clinic. I spent three years of my undergrad working as a student athletic trainer. I have made thousands of ice bags for injured athletes, and the simple technique in tying an ice bag was the same technique they wanted us to use for tying food bags! Something so small was the biggest reminder of the power God holds, and the promise of purpose in our lives. I am enough and can do God’s will no matter what the task is, big or small.
After returning to the states, I had a difficult time processing through my experience in Haiti. I did not like the evil I saw there, but I yearned to go back because God’s presence was clearly evident. I saw Jesus in the eyes of the people I had met there. I heard God’s voice telling me that I am enough and so are the oppressed of Haiti. I knew I had to go back, and in April 2016, I was able to do so.
The best part about returning to Haiti with LiveBeyond is to see the progress of God’s work. The programs through LiveBeyond (Kè Pou Timoun, Maternal Health, Johnny’s Kids) have grown in size and effectively impacted the community in more ways than one. My favorite story to share as an example of the changes being made in Thomazeau is one that Dr. Vanderpool shared with our April team. They hit water in one of the nearby towns and have put in a well for the community to use. This accessibility provided clean water, lowering the amount of health issues. For women in this culture, their job is to retrieve water everyday. The place the well was put in drastically cut down their commute to get water, which has now freed up their time and allowed these women to attend school. One change, affects every aspect of their lifestyle and economy.
I could honestly go on and on about God’s work in Haiti through LiveBeyond. It is very hard to put my experience into words, and I can truly say if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, go to Him and go where he is calling you. There is a place for you to serve. God has given you a skill set to use for His glory and although we are not able on our own, we are able because He is able.
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. (Ephesians 3:20)
Cobi was born and raised in Paris, Texas. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2015 with a Bachelor in Health and Exercise Science. She is currently in the application process for Physician Assistant school.