Never the Same

A short message of thanks to Gil & Bonnie Bailie

I just returned from my first mission trip, which was to Haiti with the Schools for Haiti. I am still “mentally unpacking” everything that I witnessed during the trip, but to summarize the experience… it was life changing! It’s had a huge impact on me and the urgency to do what the Lord is calling me to do!

I was overwhelmed by the need that exists in Haiti and the importance of reaching out globally to God’s children, especially those who have the least. I had the opportunity to look into the eyes of so many children and pray with them individually about Gods love for them, their significance, and to try to get the message across that the Lord has a unique & special plan for each one of their lives! It was truly amazing! These kids are just like our kids… other than their circumstances. They want to be loved and they want to express the joy they have in their hearts. I wish I could’ve taken a dozen kids home with me.

The one thing that touched me most on the trip happened while a few of us were taking a walk up into the mountain past the Mountain School. A few of the young teachers were guiding us through a path to take the scenic route back. While we were walking, we encountered a few young boys who were out playing on the mountain. All of a sudden I felt someone grab my hand – it was one of the young boys, age 8 or so I’d guess. I thought he wanted something at first, and I looked down at him, but he just smiled ear to ear. He didn’t ask for anything, or need anything, he just wanted to hold hands, and receive some love from a father. At one point he started tugging on my arm to pull me in a direction to show me where he lived. It’s the house in the picture below – the one missing exterior walls, and totally exposed to the elements.

It broke me heart to see the conditions he was living in. But what impacted me the most about the situation, was that as he was showing me, you could see the joy in his heart and see how proud he was of his house. I was in tears… partly because of the devastating conditions he was living in, but even more so, because of the joy I felt to see a young boy who was so happy with so little!

It spoke volumes to me personally, as I thought about all the times I might’ve complained when things didn’t go exactly as I’d hoped, etc. This 8 year old Haitian boy, who I spent all of 10 minutes with, ministered to me without words! I’ve come home a better man because of this one encounter alone. Luke 16:10 says: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…” and based on that – I stand in agreement with the Word, that one day these kind-hearted, hope-filled children you are pouring into will be rewarded and entrusted with the future of Haiti.

Gil & Bonnie, I thank God for your vision for Schools for Haiti! You are providing a solid foundation of Christ, education and love that will empower a young generation and provide opportunities that they otherwise would not have. I see a future in Haiti where these young children will grow up to be abundantly equipped to make an impact for God’s Kingdom and make a huge difference in the future of Haiti. You are accomplishing this one heart and soul at a time, and I can see the manifestation of God’s love working though you and your organization as you carry out this vital calling!

In His Service,
Curtis Lawrence