About the same time that all of this was happening, my family was coming back from going out to eat one Friday night and my 2nd oldest pipes up from the back seat of the van, “I know what I want to do!”
“Okay, what do you want to do?”
“I want to become a nurse and go back to Haiti!” (We had taken our older three along as volunteers when we went to get our younger two kid – so she had been there before.)
Wow, that wasn’t quite what we were expecting. I expected that her “want to do” had to do with a friend, a movie, the mall or other relatively typical teen ager things.
“That sounds like a great plan.”
So, at that point, we began talking and planning volunteer trips to Haiti. She and my wife went the following summer and spent some time at GLA and some time at another mission that is run by friends of ours. This started a series of 5 years in a row where she’s come back to Haiti for a substantial period of time to gain a greater appreciation of what Haiti is, what she wants, what it’s like and how to best be involved.
In 2008, while she was volunteering at GLA, a team from another church came and did a Vacation Bible School for the big kids. She got to help with it and decided she wanted to start getting our church involved in doing that. We told her, go ahead, we’ll support you but this is not our project, this is yours. For the next 4 years, she organized, planned, trained and coordinated teams from our church who came down to GLA every year to help and do a Bible School for the kids. Did I mention that she was 17 when she started doing this?
And where is she now? She got her Bachelors of Science in Nursing Degree (with honors)is working as an RN in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and pursuing her graduate studies.
A life that was changed by one trip to Haiti and will be changing many more lives from the “ripple effects” of it.