On Friday, June 1st, a team of eleven left the grounds of Quail Lakes Baptist Church to embark on a journey that would challenge, inspire, and heal.
It was on that day that we left for Haiti, a country occupying the western portion of Hispaniola over 600 miles off the coast of Florida. It was here, at the "Hands and Feet" orphanage in a city called Jacmel, where we built bunk beds, painted, organized supplies, repaired generators, and installed ceiling fans.
The work, however, was just the beginning. We delivered hand-written letters from the fifth- and sixth-grade students at Quail and shared the Jesus story. We gave an audio Bible in Haitian Creole to a nanny who had before spent her time searching radio stations for something Biblical, and watched her beam at gaining the opportunity to hear God's Word; and it was here where a team member stood by and consoled the child she sponsors as he was shocked by the news that his parents are still alive but still did not want to take him.
A number of our team members also found the time away from home to be a time of introspection, a time when our minds turned from service to sympathy as each in turn shared and encouraged during our evening meetings. To say the least, this was unexpected, but it was also wholly needed. We found, in fact, that this trip would be just as much about our own healing as it was about our service to the orphanage.
Perhaps this isn't surprising, because in the end these experiences pointed us toward our Father. True, we had accomplished those tasks we'd come to complete, and we'd spent valuable time with the children; but we had also seen our Father in an unexpected light, a light that taught us one irrevocable lesson: that our God is a God of freedom.