By Trason Sullins as told to Gerry Wakeland
When I decided to go with my grandparents on a mission trip to Haiti I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was pretty sure that it would be very hot and there would be lots of kids. I knew it would be a different culture from New Mexico.
As my departure date grew closer we discovered that my Grandpa, Mike Campbell, would not be able to go with us. So I went with my Nana, Marie Campbell and members from her church, Long Hollow Baptist Church in Gallatin, TN. There were 23 altogether.
We flew from Nashville to Miami and then on to Port-au-Prince. From there we drove 12 hours and finally arrived in Jeremie. We stayed at the guest house and were pretty lucky because it was solar powered. We even had internet at the pastor’s house.
The first day we met our interpreter. His name was Dou Dou and he is 40 years old. He is married and has two kids.
The Haitians speak the Creole language which is a mixture of French and Spanish. It helped that I had taken Spanish in school. Some of the words I remember are allo, which means hi. Merci means thank you. And Jesu means Jesus.
In Haiti we served in three different villages. At Guest House Village there were about 26 people. In the village of Emmanuel there were about 50 people and in Londun there were approximately 200. In each of these villages we held Vacation Bible School for the children. In Emmanuel I got to tell the Bible story. I told the story of the unfaithful servant. We acted it out as a drama and it was amazing. I loved being able to share.
One of the local restaurants provided our meals. The grilled goat was amazing. It was chopped up and mixed with seasonings. They had the best rice. And coke.
We played games with the kids. Soccer was the favorite. There is so much more freedom in Haiti. We just hung out with the kids and we felt safe.
Haiti is a very poor country. Most people have only two meals a day and children have no shoes. Many of the children were making things like bracelets and selling them to make money. I felt bad because there was so much competition.
Church in Haiti is very different. First of all, it was two hours long. The preaching and singing were loud and energetic. The kids started out separate but we all ended up together.
What would I tell people that are interested in going on a mission trip?
- Go somewhere that people don’t have as much stuff
- Go on a mission trip not just a vacation
- Go somewhere that’s not a travel destination
- Go to share the love of Jesus
What would I tell youth who want to go on a mission trip?
I learned a lot on this trip. I learned not to complain about what I don’t have. I learned how to share the gospel with the kids. Probably the most important thing I learned was to be grateful for what I have. I can’t wait to go back.