[Yon Choi] In the summer of 2009, I went on a mission trip to Hait

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In the summer of 2009, I went on a mission trip to Haiti, and what I experienced there was unexpected. Physically and mentally, as much as I prepared myself to go to Haiti, it still did not prepare me for what I would see and experience once I reached Haiti. Hearing about poorer countries on TV and living in a third-world country are two very different things. Going to a country in which everyone looked like a stranger and almost nobody spoke my language took a toll. The children did speak a little English, but it seemed as though the only English they knew was; “Give me money” and “Hey, you” to grab your attention. What lifted my spirits was that many of these people worshipped so fervently, only to have it brought down by learning that it was “blind faith,” not having read the bible and simply worshipping God for the sake of having someone to worship. In addition to these, there was also the sweltering heat which would not go away and kept us constantly dehydrated and thirsty, and had us guilt-tripped because we would have to hide somewhere to drink our water so that the many without water would not see that we had water.

Despite all the negative aspects of the trip, the trip did not end without bearing some fruit. In an environment where we were stranded, not being able to communicate with nearly anyone and having the pressure of trying to help thousands of people, everything seems hopeless. Realistically, helping thousands of people without even being able to communicate was impossible. But it is in this impossibility that we learned to rely on the one who makes the impossible happen. We learned to rely on God, because we knew that without God, nothing would happen and that we by ourselves would not be able to make anything happen. A pastor once told me that we could donate a thousand dollars to a missionary group rather than go on a mission trip ourselves; after all, they are far more experienced and could do much more than we could. He affirmed my belief that the main purpose of a mission trip at our level isn’t to change a country; it was to change ourselves and for our personal growth. Only through this trip did I truly realize that.

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