My first trip to Haiti was when I was in college at Harding University. I was able to travel to Haiti five different times during college and soon after. My early trips to Haiti truly rocked my worldview and changed how I live my life. After the last of my early trips, we found out we were expecting our oldest son, Connor. For many years, I wondered how I would again become involved in the work in Haiti. Haiti stole a piece of my heart on each of my trips, and I longed to return. I just wasn’t sure what trips would look like for us while we had young children at home. My dear friends, Taylor and Heather Tidmore, began sharing about their experiences in Haiti, and I prayed and felt God pulling on my heart to travel to LiveBeyond. I asked the dean of our nursing program at Abilene Christian University where I work as a teaching assistant if I could invite students to travel with us, and she eagerly agreed. I have been honored to travel to LiveBeyond on three different occasions, and I plan on going to Thomazeau with nursing students at least twice a year from now on.
Everything about the mission weeks is dear to my heart. I especially enjoy being able to see and treat patients while trying to help restore dignity and hope in their situations. I appreciate being able to hear their individual stories. On my first trip, a grandmother came to clinic with her grandchild who probably had cerebral palsy. The child was severely malnourished and dehydrated, and our team began trying to get him to take oral rehydration solution. The mother of the child had abandoned him and fled to the Dominican Republic. The grandmother was so loving and kind to the child. In the midst of her grief and desperate situation, she was striving to provide the best life possible for her grandchild.
I also love to see the interactions of my students with the Haitian people. I am able to witness how their hearts are being broken and changed during mission weeks. On one of our trips, the students had some downtime in clinic. I turned around and witnessed them washing the feet of those who came to clinic with baby wipes. They were performing unprompted, selfless act of service, and it was very touching. Hearts and lives are changed on these short trips, which is one of the many reasons that I keep going back. On my last trip, my husband, Todd, and my son, Connor, were able to travel with me. Seeing Haiti through Connor’s eyes was incredible. He has been hearing about Haiti his entire life, and it was precious to see him experience a mission week and meet some of the amazing people who have touched my life. He was especially touched by seeing where Fanold, one of his new Haitian friends, lives.
I appreciate the mission of LiveBeyond to transform Thomazeau for the glory of God. I appreciate how they partner with Haitians in each of their ministries to give them ownership of the mission. On each of my trips, it is exciting to see how the base is changing and growing with the addition of new buildings. However, it is even more exciting to witness how lives are being changed for eternity. The Haitians worship with such joy and hope. The Spirit of God is moving in a mighty way in Thomazeau to transform hearts to follow Him. I am humbled to be able to witness these miraculous transformations. We are commanded to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15. We are also told: ‘”Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40. I have witnessed the “least of these” many, many times. And I am overwhelmed by the numerous mentions in the Bible of God commanding us to care for the poor. We, as the North American church, cannot ignore these commands any longer. And therefore, I will keep returning to Haiti as long as the Lord allows.
Rebekah grew up in Arkansas and went to Harding University where she graduated with a nursing degree in 1998. Her family has lived in Abilene, Texas, for six years, & her husband, Todd, & Rebekah work at Abilene Christian University. She works in the School of Nursing, & Todd is a senior graphic designer for University Marketing. Rebekah is also in grad school completing her masters in nursing education. They have four children, Connor (14), Dawson (11), Landon (7), & Savannah (5). The Mullins worship with the Southern Hills Church of Christ in Abilene.