Beau Marshall Haiti Reflection Letter 2021
There aren't enough words to describe my reflection on my experience in Haiti. I could talk about anything from my first adventure to another country, or my lifelong desire to participate in a service mission trip like this one or speak to not only the impact on the Haitian people but instead on myself as an American. Long story short, Haiti is something you have to personally experience to fully understand and comprehend the emotional and mental enlightening that occurs between arrival and departure, and then each and every day afterward.
That said, there are a few things I always try to point out to those who wish to hear my thoughts. Firstly, until you've been to Haiti it is impossible to even imagine the living conditions under which the people of Haiti live every single day. When I think of the worst situation possible in the US, I don't think it nor the resources still available to Americans comes close to the poverty of the entire Caribbean nation. There is such a true abundance of resources available in America-land of plenty-more than we might even know individually or use collectively. It isn't until you've walked a mile in others' shoes that you can even begin to fathom what an entire lifetime of impoverishment truly entails. We are absolutely blessed beyond measure to have just been born in the country we are.
Secondly, the people of Haiti are stronger, I might dare to say both emotionally and faithfully than the majority of Americans. The conveniences of life in the states have clouded our vision to relate to much of the rest of the world that experiences actual uncontrollable suffering. Specifically, while our faiths might be tested, it's not as often in regards to things that are completely out of our control, needs versus wants. We may face hardship or difficulty via impatience or inconvenience, but our lives are not relatable to misfortune or lack of opportunity to change our situation. This breaks my heart because Haiti has people willing to work the physical demand required to better their situation and give God glory in doing so, yet there is no economy for them to be a part of. Contradictorily, in America, there are people collecting enough support from various places that they have little or no incentive to work for anything beyond basic needs or simple wants because they are complacent. I began to think the mindsets would be inverse of what they actually are, yet the paradox serves as a reminder to count our blessings and give endless thanks for all we DO have, rather than what we do not, whether that may be a little or a lot.
Finally, I continue to be reminded daily, vividly in my memories, of what it really looks like to believe, even aligning the landscape of Haiti to the possible geography which our Lord walked during his time on Earth. In summary, I think Haiti is closer to God not only in spirit but in body. I felt like a purer being/soul there, life simplified and the voice of God speaking to me more clearly without having to yell over the insurmountable noise of entitlement and greed back home. It was liberating, although knowing there is still so much more to do for our brothers and sisters in Christ really made me never want to leave. In Haiti, I was able to see the two greatest commandments living and breathing in the flesh all around me, not obstructed by careers, money, luxury, selfishness, or ungratefulness.
I made so many new friends on my trip, and sharing it with the person closest to me, Anna, really made it truly special. I'm sure nothing can compare to the first sights of Haiti before deboarding and upon exiting the airport, but part of me will always remain there and call me to help God's people more and more as my life goes on. Thank you for making this trip possible. Thank you to all those who support us financially. Thank you, God, our Father, our Lord and savior his son Jesus Christ, and the enduring Holy Spirit for nurturing my faith along the entire journey and adventure to Haiti. Something tells me it won't be my last...