This is a guest blog post from PovRes friend and volunteer Amanda Kinsey.
Last year, I felt God calling me to go on a mission trip. I chose to say yes to the calling, even though I did not know when or where. At the time, I didn’t even know of any mission opportunities, but, two days later, I heard about a group from my church going to Haiti. I was invited to join the group and I knew this was the opportunity God had already placed on my heart. In May 2014, I went with this team to Haiti.
I would be lying if I said I was not scared to go, as I had never before been out of North America. I had also never even travelled anywhere without friends or family. This was a whole new experience, and I didn’t know what to expect. I was worried and nervous until the moment I entered the orphanage in Haiti. The children I met offered their love to me so easily, and they willingly accepted my love in return. I just sat down and let them climb on me, and I could see the joy on their faces as they reached up to be held by whoever came into their little area. Each day I was in Haiti, I would take time to visit the children and just hold them and love them. It was a little thing, but it meant so much to the children and I greatly enjoyed my time with them.
One of my projects was to help direct VBS for the community children. I planned for approximately 100 children. Though we ended up with twice the number of children we expected, that didn’t matter. The children willingly shared the limited number of supplies with one another and listened attentively to God’s word. The whole experience was very humbling and satisfying.
The more time I spent with the children, the more passionate I became to serve them. God was working in my heart in amazing ways, and, as soon as I returned home, I was eager to get back to Haiti. In November 2014, I spent my second week in Haiti.
During this second trip, I met two women who were teaching English in the local school. I was invited to join them and help with the English lessons that week. It felt so easy and natural to be surrounded by the children. Each time I would sit down at the school or the orphanage, a child would climb into my lap. The children craved attention, love and the comfort of being held. I willingly loved them and was truly blessed by them.
These experiences have stuck with me like I could have never imagined. I know God is calling me to continue pursuing my passion in Haiti. Both times I was there, I began to develop lasting relationships with the children and the teachers, but one week never felt like enough time. Because God keeps tugging at my heart, I have decided to return to Haiti for three weeks this summer. I am extremely excited to continue building relationships with the people of Haiti.
I have known that God created me with the gift of teaching children. However, I didn’t fully understand the extent of my calling until I stepped out of my comfort zone and listened to God’s plan. I am excited to see what God has in store for me and for the children in Haiti this summer.
As a certified teacher, Amanda has a heart and a passion for kids and education. She also packs too many towels on Haiti trips.