LiveBeyonder Spotlight | David Johnston

LiveBeyonder, David Johnston, grew up just south of Nashville, Tennessee. He and his wife, Tayler, met at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and he graduated from UT in 2010 with a degree in geography. David is a landscape and nature photographer, living and working from their tiny house in Thompson's Station, Tennessee.

How many LiveBeyond mission weeks have you served on?  
Six trips since September 2013.

Share how you got involved with LiveBeyond.  
My wife Tayler and I were looking for a mission to go on right after we got married that involved medical and non-medical jobs. After Dr. David Vanderpool came and spoke to our worship service, we immediately went online and signed up for a trip.

What's your favorite part(s) of the mission week?
My favorite part of the mission week is going on home visits. It's so humbling to go through the villages of the people you just saw in clinic and see how they live. Probably the most inspiring thing is to see how happy they are to have you in their homes. Their hospitality is unmatched.

Share one of your most memorable experiences or encounters in Haiti. 
King of Kings is my favorite person to visit in Haiti. We went to see him on my first trip. If it isn't eye-opening enough to experience Haiti for the first time, I felt a strong connection to King of Kings. He has the kindest eyes. As people were talking and visiting with him, we locked eyes with each other. All of the talk about serving the least of these is serving Jesus really stood out in my mind when we were staring at each other. Suddenly, I felt a strong pull to wash his feet. They were so dusty and dirty. How could I say no in a moment when the Spirit was moving me to wash the feet of someone called King of Kings? That's when my heart broke for the people of Haiti. 

Over the past two years that you've been involved with LiveBeyond, how have you seen our work expand?
Our first trip to LiveBeyond was the first team that they had in the Hamilton Guest House. Every time we go back, we see improvements and new projects springing up. We truly believe that God is working through LiveBeyond to transform Thomazeau and to transform Haiti, and we want to be a part of that.

What keeps you coming back to Haiti with LiveBeyond?  
The country needs so much help. I feel like every time my wife and I go, we just barely crack the surface of their needs. We constantly want to return and continue to help God in the work that He's doing in Thomazeau.

How have the people of Thomazeau have changed your life? 
The people of Haiti have made me happier to have less. To see their joy with the amount of things they have is truly inspiring. It's been a great journey in our lives to strip away material possessions and be happy with less.