You may be wondering why I am going on this trip to Haiti next year. Well, the story goes back to this fall when the Lord gave me the idea of serving for a year before college. My dad and I were talking about college and he asked, “Why haven’t you looked into any gap years yet?” The idea struck a chord inside of me. I wasn’t sure that my parents would want me to take a gap year, because they have always been the type of parents that push me and motivate me to stay in school. It turns out that they were kind of meaning an educational gap year, like one in which I would be going to school, but that is not was Christ had in mind.
After doing a bit of research and finding a few gap year programs that I could be apart of, I kind of abandoned the idea, thinking that it was too expensive and that my parents would never go for a mission trip as a gap year. God put it on my heart though and it wouldn’t go away. There was this constant desire to make a leap of faith and put my life on hold for a year, even if it seemed different and scary to me.
I went to the Passion conference this past January in Atlanta, Georgia. While in the midst of the Holy Spirit’s immense presence there, amongst thousands of other Followers of Christ, I had a moment where the Holy Spirit really touched my heart. With my hands lifted in worship, I was shaking under His power and glory. I felt the Holy Spirit’s confirmation telling me to go through with a gap year and serve Him during that time.
After praying about this more, I looked into a gap year program more intentionally. I interviewed and was accepted to be a part of the program, but there was a bit of an unsettling feeling that I had about it. It just didn’t feel like what I was looking for. Also, my parents were really against the idea. Normally they support me on my indoors because they trust God to take care of me, but they didn’t feel good about this program either. It just seemed a bit too dangerous and unorganized. Their discomfort was God’s way of telling me to not commit to that program and look elsewhere. I began to think of places that are in need; I wanted one specific place that I could go to and become a part of, spreading the Gospel by giving to their community and being a helping hand. I remembered a friend of mine who had helped in Haiti with Haiti Partners. When I emailed Haiti Partners, inquiring about the possibility of me going over there to help, they emailed back eagerly. The email made me so excited. I realized that this was the place where Jesus was calling me. They need my help and want me to visit them to make an impact in their Children’s Academy and Learning Center. I prayed about it for a week and the Lord brought me peace during that time. My father always told me that if I don’t have peace after making a big decision, then that decision was not influenced by the Lord. So I told them that I would come to Haiti! I was still slightly scared about not being able to raise the amount it would cost for me to live there and be a volunteer, but the Lord told me to not worry about it at all. He knows the plans that He has for me and money isn’t a big deal to Him. So now I await this opportunity, asking for support from the church that I am so blessed to be a part of. I am so excited for what God is going to do in and through me while I am in Haiti, because this will be so new for me. I have no idea what to expect, so I am just going into this with an open heart, ready to be molded by my Potter in Heaven. “But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)