Helping a village in Haiti

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Junior Elizabeth Deckert stands on the familiar Haitian soul. As a group of orphans rush towards the missionaries, Deckert spots one familiar face. A little boy named Stevenson, who clung to her earlier that year when she was in Haiti, runs up to her. As they play with the other orphans and colored on coloring pages  Deckert finds out more and more about this little boy. After losing both his parents in a massive earthquake he and his brother were sent to a village, which is native for orphanage. His brother was kicked out when he reached a certain age and hasn’t been allowed back on campus. Deckert realizes how much of a gift family is.

Junior Elizabeth Deckert first traveled to Haiti spring break of 2013 after winning a trip from KCC’s auction and then again for four days this past weekend.

“The first trip I actually bought at the KCC auction,” Deckert said. “And the second trip I went with the same people through Global Orphan.”

Unlike some missions trip, there wasn’t much of a process to apply. The trickiest part was finding a time that a team who works with Global Orphan was traveling to Haiti in your area. A cost of $2,000 had to be met and Deckert was off for a long weekend in the middle of first quarter.

The Global Orphan Project is an organization that works with local churches to provide care for orphaned and abandoned children locally and cross culturally. Global Orphan also sponsors schools and business to people who need it most.

“The first day we went to a lot of shops and one of them was the Parent project. They make jewelry and stuffed animals and things like that,” Deckert said. “The Haitians that make it get money to send their kids to school. We also went to a designer who creates purses and pajamas [and other things] out of Hanes scraps so there’s no landfill.”

Although it was only a four day missions trip, everything that the team aimed for was accomplished. The team from Lee Summit, including Deckert, hung out with the orphans and was able to take tours of different orphanages.

“We took tours of other orphanages,” Deckert said. “We also made friendship bracelets and had discussions on Jesus.”

Deckert says the culture of Haiti is different in a few notable ways. Besides the one lane roads with absolutely zero driving lanes, Deckert noticed some social norms that are distinctly different from America.

“Their culture is okay with begging and where here it’s not socially acceptable,” Deckert said. “And their church is different. It can run from three to six hours.”

One thing that Deckert keeps taking away from her trips to Haiti is the importance of family. Family is something that is easily taken for granted and Deckert becomes more self-aware each time she goes of how lucky she is.

“I learned how grateful I should be that I have a family,” Deckert said.  “Here we can take our family for granted sometimes, but over there a lot of kids don’t have families.”

Deckert’s faith grows stronger each time she goes. It’s less of a spiritual high that will eventually fade and more of learning truths that will stay with Deckert forever.

“It’s a big leap in your faith every time you go,” Deckert said. “Just to see how these kids love Jesus with their whole heart and they have nothing is so amazing, and you’re just so thankful that you have all this stuff.”

Deckert has no immediate plans for returning to Haiti anytime soon but has hopes of living there for a year after she graduates.

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