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Area of TheftRoad 232 and Avenue 204, Strathmore

My Turn: On mission for Haiti

It's so easy to take the blessings we have for granted.

We live in a country where we're free to speak our minds, have enough food to eat and live in a nice home. We have the means to dream something great for ourselves and then work to achieve it.

As Americans, we have the luxury of living comfortably.

Most countries don't have that luxury. Many are lucky if they have something to eat every day, and living conditions are often terrible. Most days, it's a struggle to meet their own basic needs.

I've never been on a mission trip before, but for some reason, when I heard my college, Benedictine College, was sponsoring a trip to Haiti, I jumped on it.

Haiti still suffers from the earthquake that devastated the country three years ago. Haitians are scattered across the country in terrible living conditions or refugee camps, living too far away from churches, doctors, or veterinarians - things we have at our fingertips.

Many of these people are illiterate, but nearly all own a radio. While we're there, 11 other college students and I will finish constructing a radio station attached to a church in Pignon, Haiti. Listeners will be able to hear Scripture readings, interviews from healthcare professionals and others on topics such as disease prevention and livestock care.

We Americans have the freedom to practice our faith, if we wish; we have doctors and other necessities at our hands. The people of Haiti do not. This radio station will make those things more accessible to them.

One of my friends and mission team leader, Coltan Severson, worked on this mission last year and realized that these people, who are so worthy of serving, gave him more than he gave them.

“I kind of went there … with something to give them, but realized that they know what's important in life, and they don't even know if their family will survive the next week, but they live with certainty and joy,” Severson said. “When I was there I realized what it is to love someone. To love someone is to point them towards their destiny.”

I've never been to a third world country before. But I know that meeting these people and experiencing their lives will change me more than I'll change them. These people, who have nothing, possess a pure and simple joy, since they're free of the world's cares. They know what's really important.

In fact, they're probably freer to give to others than I am.

If you would like to donate to the Pignon, Haiti mission trip, or would like more information, contact Therese at therese.aaker@yahoo.com or (760) 686-0142.


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