How many LiveBeyond mission weeks have you served on?
April 2016 was my first medical mission, but I'll be going back December 2016 and many times after that. I'm now addicted.
Share how you got involved with LiveBeyond.
I have a friend that had previously gone on a trip through LiveBeyond.
What's your favorite part of the mission week?
I enjoyed every moment of every day--starting with the bananas at breakfast and ending with the countless hours of dominoes after dinner.
If I had to pick one thing that really stood out in my mind it would be the church service Sunday and daily worship with the Haitian staff. Watching them worship was unlike anything I had ever seen. It was a simple and pure, but powerful time. You can just see Jesus in their eyes while singing and dancing through the pavilion, you just stand in your row and feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in the room. They don't care if they don't have the voice of an angel, or if their neighbor thinks they look silly while dancing down the isle, this is their time with the Lord and you can tell they don't want to miss a single second. I was in awe of their wholehearted desire to give it all to the Lord.
Share one of your most memorable experiences or encounters in Haiti.
Monday morning we saw a two-year-old little boy named Ashley. He weighed 15 pounds. He was lethargic, lifeless, and likely going to die if he didn't get help. My ICU instincts immediately wanted to start and IV, drop a NG tube, and get this boy some fluids and food. But this is Haiti, and that is not even remotely a possibility. I settled for a syringe and spent the next two hours feeding him two ounces of apple pedialyte out of a 3cc syringe. He was able to open his eyes and suck the syringe slightly, but didn't have near the life a two-year-old should have in his eyes. We gave some powered formula to his grandma and sent her with instructions on how to prepare it, a feeding schedule, and strict orders to bring him back to clinic the rest of the week. The following morning Ashley was a whole new little boy. He was smiling and spunky and boy was he ready to eat. I gave him two more bottles of infant formula this time (which he drank by mouth!) and sent them on their way.
This is just one of the many stories like this that happened all week. Watching the whole team rally behind and pray for these kids and their families and villages was a surreal experience to watch and to be a part of.
What keeps you coming back to Haiti with LiveBeyond?
I will continue going back to Haiti to help the people that owe me nothing. I have a talent and a passion that can serve them, and give them hope and healing. I would be silly not to use it there.
Tell us how the people of Thomazeau have changed your life.
The people of Thomazeau showed me that Jesus doesn't just love the people that drive their BMWs to the buildings that cost millions of dollars to worship at a time that is most convenient for them and their schedules. The people that rush out of those same buildings to get to Chili's before the crowd because heaven forbid you have to wait 20 minutes for your cajun chicken pasta. America is not God's chosen country and Americans are not God's chosen people, even though we like to think we are. When you think about it when is the last time you were able to say you saw Jesus in everyone around you? When is the last time someone could look at you and say they saw Jesus in you? In Haiti I saw Jesus every single day, every single hour. I saw Him in the eyes of Ashley's grandma. I saw Him in Estanley and Fredeline. I saw him in the Haitian translators and staff. I saw him in my team, boy did I see Him in my team. My 168 hours in Haiti showed me the Lord in the flesh and now I'll never be the same.
How have you seen LiveBeyond expand our work and impact since you got involved with our work?
I have only been on one trip, but I was even able to see change from Monday to Thursday. We would see children that were lifeless and quite literally starving to death in clinic on Monday and by Thursday they were running around the clinic. The education and resources LiveBeyond is providing to the people of Thomazeau are evident and it is changing the lives of the people there.
Kate Alexander was born and raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma (Boomer!) with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2015. She is currently a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Registered Nurse at the Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City.