Two days from now, I leave for Haiti. This will be my fourth trip to Haiti, and I feel privileged to be able to go again. But what will this trip bring?
In my first trip in 2010, I arrived on the day of the earthquake. It is a very traumatic and harrowing experience. It was also a very motivating and life-changing experience – FreddyLink was birthed by the earthquake. I was greatly inspired by the courageous and dedicated World Vision staff that responded to quickly and effectively to this tragedy.
We were able to return to Haiti in 2011. This was the first time we could visit the communities that Fredericton is partnered with through FreddyLink and World Vision. It was during this trip that for the first time I truly appreciated the depth and breadth of the World Vision community development programs. I was greatly impressed by the programs, inspired by the community leaders, and completely taken by the beautiful children.
We returned to Haiti again in 2013. This time we had a larger group with a number of FreddyLink volunteers plus some additional members of the Fredericton community, including Fredericton mayor Brad Woodside. On this trip, we saw fewer aspects of the community development programs, but took more time to connect with the community. In particular, we got to meet a number of leaders that are being raised in this community, and that are their best hope for their future. Seeing the progress over the two years since the previous visit, and seeing how an entire generation is being changed through the World Vision community development, gave me great hope for their future.
What will the 2015 trip bring? It will be quite a different dynamic in this trip because we will have a larger group and have a focus on young leaders from the Fredericton community. What a wonderful opportunity for our young leaders to interact with their peers in Haiti for the benefit of both. I do not know what will happen, but I do know that it will be wonderful – on every trip I am blessed to receive much more than I give. I trust that every member of our team will come back from Haiti deeply moved, and inspired to do what they can to truly make a difference in this world.