Port Au Prince, Haiti

IMG_3387I had the opportunity to spend some time in Haiti in November and it was absolutely amazing. The amount of joy these people have with so little is inexplicable. They don’t compare their lives to their neighbors’, they don’t sit not their smartphones wishing they had someone else’s looks, house, possessions. They are constantly joyful. They have faith in the Lord and that He will provide for them. These people are grateful. They are resilient. They work all day. Their government is corrupt. Their homes are tiny. There is an orphan cycle that occurs because mothers of babies can’t afford to have children. A lot live in villages and the children may not see food for a week. Yet, when we visited one of those villages, the kids were so excited to see us. They just wanted to feel our love, our attention. They pulled us by the hand to join them in playing soccer, braiding hair, painting nails! I loved being able to SERVE these kids. We helped bathe the children, clean their wounds, and bandage up any cuts. A lot of the kids didn’t even have parents. It was A LOT to take in. And as difficult as this day in particular was (which is actually the photo at the top) I was surrounded with such JOY and LOVE and HAPPINESS. Joy is absolutely eternal.

IMG_3175Reflecting on that day though, I don’t think the take-away was suppose to be guilt. Guilt that we were born Americans and don’t live this life. I don’t think we were meant to feel like we are horrible human beings because of the shallowness of our minds sometimes. Of our worries, our comparisons, our conversations… when kids live so impoverished in another country such as this. I think God’s plan and objective is to use us as vessels of us HIS love wherever we may go. To tell the Haitians’ stories when we come back home. To help out how we can, and get others involved in the cause as well. But most of all, I think these type of “mission” trips is truly a change in “vision” trip. A change in our perspective is almost always a direct result of spending even a few days with these children. It’s so easy to lead us to A change of heart. A change in direction. A change in perspective.

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Meet Banner. He has CP. It was believed that he would never walk on his own. But after working with the organization located in Haiti made up of volunteers and PTs, Banner has been working on his walking and pushes a walker while playing with other children. Pure JOY is found with one glance at Banner’s smile.

Are we doing all that we can to the best of our potential? Are we truly LIVING our best life, as in taking every opportunity that we can to SERVE others, to INSPIRE, to LOVE, to LEAD, to ENCOURAGE, to REACH out to someone in need, someone struggling, someone feeling alone. We don’t need to travel to the other side of the world, or a third world country to make a difference in this world and someone else’s.

We never know someone’s story. We can’t judge, we don’t know what they’re going through. What if tomorrow we started treating others like we saw the face of Jesus in their face? What if we chose to go out of our way to help make someone’s day a little more special, a little more bright? What if we chose to get OUT of our OWN feelings, our own mind’s, our own issues, and just think of how much someone else could be needing us, our story, our lessons we’ve learned, in their life this very moment?

Sometimes we just need to remove ourselves from the current mindset and situation. Gain a new perspective of the bigger picture. We are surrounded by people who are lost, lonely, and unhappy. By a few kind words, a smile, a “Good Morning” might make all the difference in their day. You could be in a long line at Starbucks drive-thru and decide to take care of the car behind yours’s order. They may be caught so off guard and pleasantly surprised by this that they pay it forward and do the very same thing to the car behind them, and so forth. You could brighten someone’s day with such little effort, and they’ll be left smiling the rest of the afternoon, holding onto that small gesture, that small, random act of kindness that YOU displayed.

When you are being you, YOU look your best. Chose to be you regardless of what you dislike about yourself. Flaws make you unique and quirks make you shine ✨ you are great, so let your greatness be known 🖤 #beyou

I think we all can get out of our own head and try to serve someone today. Try a little random act of kindness. Be a vessel of His love. Choose joy. Choose to be happy, grateful, hopeful, and see how many people you can bring joy to. BE A LIGHT.

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