Monday, June 27, 2016


June 27th 6:15 pm— Marin Ryan and Alaina Gacek

Day 7… Can you believe it?!
This morning we woke up at the normal time. Most of the adults went to bed while some of the kids stayed up late laughing. The cause of the laughter was funny creole words found in the book Creole Made Easy (for citational integrity) and a video of Michelle Obama saying “Sweet Potato” (it doesn't sound that funny, but feel free to look up the video). After waking up, people continued to pack up. We then met for breakfast at 8 as usual. We ate french toast, eggs, and oatmeal. We had eaten this meal before but it hadn't lost its appeal. Then everyone finished there packing and some played cards and others chilled on the couch because there was plenty of time between breakfast and the time to leave for the airport. When it became time to leave, everyone started to move outside to gather for the tap taps and put shoes on. It was hard for some and harder for others to leave the guesthouse.  We would all miss this place dearly. We gathered in two pick-up trucks and a tap tap because one tap tap was broken. I was able to snag a spot in the back of the truck and saw the city from a different perspective. How often do you get to buzz around a busy city in the back of a truck? You have to take advantage of those opportunities! You are so close to the other cars and motorcycles whizzing past you. To put it in perspective, you would probably lose a hand if you stuck your hand out of the side of the bed of the truck. We arrived at the airport and began to hug our drivers goodbye. They were so funny and giving to us all week. They deserve endless thanks. It gets a little difficult trying to maneuver 28 people though the airport but we managed. It was a little slow getting through but we finally boarded the plane. The views on the flight to Miami was jaw dropping. We passed over many islands and bright blue waters. You could watch out your window the entire flight and not get bored. We landed in Miami around 3pm and waited in a bunch of lines after that to get through customs and all that jazz. I am sitting writing at the gate with one hour left of our five hour layover. See you soon Minnesota!


“Let your faith lead you, not your fear.” 
We explain to people that we are going to Haiti to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and I don’t think people fully realize that what they are saying really means until they are put into an uncomfortable situation and do not know what to do. The quote that I put above had significance for this team because I felt that every single person on this team, new or veterans, would be pushed out of their comfort zone during the trip. For me, my daily life in Minnesota is very comfortable and safe, and I feel that this is true for a lot of people. We were all called in some way to go on this mission trip together. Every single person pushed their fear of the unknown aside, and just let God guide them in their faith. That feeling of knowing that God was going to protect and lead us in our ministry is an amazing feeling. To know that we are supposed to be in that spot, holding that child, and just being in the moment, you can’t help but feel God’s presence. Living in the moment is so important. We often forget when we get in a routine and just go through the motions. Haiti has made me realize that it’s okay to not think about what is going to happen in the future or tomorrow or even later in the day. In Haiti, literally we could have a plan for the day, and in an hour we could have a completely different plan. Why worry about what you are doing later when you have right now to enjoy? Once I got that into my head, I think I was able to fully appreciate everything I did. I remember holding a sweet sleeping baby, taking care of a young boy’s foot when he got cut by glass, learning Creole from seven year old Jameson, having a conversation with a girl about my age in Spanish because we figured out we were both fluent. Literally that list could go on and on. 

Yesterday at church, one of the songs and then the talk that the pastor gave after was about rising up. We were asked that no matter how long it takes, no matter what it takes, if we would rise up and serve the Lord. I was very happy that this was the message since it was the end of our week. We all had been trying to figure out all week how we would serve the Lord each day. For me personally, I have struggled this past year with figuring out what my purpose is and how I am supposed to serve. With the stress and distraction of my first year of college, I felt like I was lost. This trip was like God was trying to show me what my path is in life. I am here on Earth to serve people and to serve Him. I am here to be a voice for those that cannot advocate for themselves. I am here to love everyone, no matter what their path in life is. And finally, I am here to provide hope for the hopeless even when I feel hopeless myself. That is why Healing Haiti is so important. Hope. Sure, we don’t change everything that is wrong or broken in Haiti when we go down there. What we do is provide hope on a daily basis to those who need it. Hope is one of the most powerful things in the world and everyone needs it. Without hope, these people in Haiti will lose their purpose in the world. Hope is how I believe Haiti can be healed, and I am so excited to be apart of this amazing ministry. Every little thing or action we did this week had an impact on someone, whether it was someone from Haiti, someone on the team, the staff, or even on ourselves. Each impact provided a little bit of hope for that person for whatever they are struggling with in their life. With a little hope and a lot of faith, I know we can all find our path in this crazy world and learn how we are supposed to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
Romans 12:12

-Alaina Gacek