PINE TREES…NOT ONE OR TWO, BUT A FOREST OF PINE TREES!
Catching my breath at 7,000 feet of elevation after climbing the final ascent as the Kenscoff Mountains plateaued, I was greeted by a forest of pine trees. I must confess I didn’t know what I would experience trekking 40 miles through the middle of Haiti, on our way to the community of Mapou, but I guarantee these trees were the last thing I expected would greet me. This forest was only the first of many unexpected but beautiful surprises we encountered in exploring Haiti.
Since a young age I have been captured by the idea of adventure and jump at any opportunity to explore. There is a tinge of doubt and a pinch of fear of heading into the unknown; yet, when kept in their proper place, fear and doubt are not debilitating but propel me further into undiscovered frontiers.
I assumed our hike through Haiti would be about exploration; yet, I quickly discovered it was not the adventure propelling me through the arduous trek…it was the pedestrian view of a beautiful culture and people that captured me.
Each one I encountered a tenacity, relentlessness, resourcefulness and generosity of which I had not previously encountered in all my travels. Christophe is one of these great men I had the pleasure of meeting. He had the opportunity to travel to France in order to complete a graduate degree in Community Development and decided to return to his homeland in order to help rebuild a country he so desperately loves. He could have stayed away, but he chose to walk into the unknown utilizing his God-given gifts in order to see Haiti flourish once again and the Kingdom of God continue to break into the darkness.
We at College Church had to answer a similar question in whether we would walk away or return to the people of Mapou, Haiti.
It has been a year since my feet first touched Haiti’s soil, and I am excited to return in a few short days with a team from CCN in order that together we can continue to discover the beauty of Mapou’s people and begin working together in order that this remote area will be able to experience a flourishing community. What beautiful surprises await us this trip? We don’t know, but we are committed in taking the next steps of collaboration with leadership capacity building and assisting in their medical clinic. May God continue to provide us with a sense of adventure that we might learn and discover more of His Kingdom that He has already established in and amongst the people of Mapou.