Written by Jayme Hazen
Over the past 3 years I have been traveling to the village of LaFond, Haiti an average of 4 times a year. Sometimes leading teams with my fellow partners in crime sometimes heading there by myself and once in while sharing the experience with just one other person from the states with me. Each experience is different each one has teaching moments, moments of frustration, moments of joy, and sometimes even moments of sorrow. But each time bring me closer to the community as I walk through life with them.
This year I have experience moments of joy as I have witnessed growth in our community and team work as the people in our village have worked together to rebuild after Matthew. As I have seen the blessing the new cisterns in our village offers the community as they offer new and closer water sources. As I looked at our new secondary kids in their beautiful uniforms so proud of entering the 7th and 8th grades.
I have experienced frustration as American culture and Haitian culture sometimes butt heads. As I foolishly write an Itinerary while fully knowing the moment I arrive it will all be completely different. When I’m a hurry up and let’s get going personality working in a take your time it will all get done when it gets done world. (Both worlds are hardworking … just different)
I’ve experienced teaching moments when I have been taught to… take my time it will all get done when it gets done… ha ha ha. When the ladies show me kitchen skills so very foreign to me. When I’ve been taught to find joy in life and thank the Lord even when it seems like circumstances warrant unrest. Se la vi… (Its life) is not just a saying there but a way of life… accepting life’s circumstances even when they are hard to accept, and then pushing on.
I have experienced great sorrow. This past February we lost a special little boy to my heart named Roberto. He was such a little guy but so smart. His teachers always sung his praises to me at how smart he was in school. I had begun asking around about him a year ago as his size bothered me. Was he malnourished? Did he have failure to thrive or some other issue? Last December we found him a sponsor and I was really hoping to get on top of the issue as to what the real problem was. Then in February pastor texted me and said Roberto was very sick and the father would be taking him down the mountain the next day to go to the hospital. I told him we would pay for the medical expenses but to get him well! However, the next day came and I got a text saying he had passed away in the night… I remember dropping to the floor in my kitchen, my chest heaving up and down, shouting NO as if it was my own child and the tears… they wouldn’t stop. I’ve experience great sorrow when I was told while one of our mothers was kept away from her kids outside of her control a family member put them in an orphanage and she doesn’t know which one or where they are at and came to us seeking help. The reality of life isn’t fair sunk in deep. I was angry. I know that some orphanages are good… but I also know some are horrible and traffic children. Its why we work so hard to keep our kids with their parents… These are things I have never had to deal with before and it tested my faith. How could He allow these things to happen to these precious kids?
Through all these moments God has been working on my life. I won’t sit here and write that I am perfect and have it all together. In fact, I am far from it. Recently I asked God why he chose to use a broken and messed up person like myself. And then one day it was like He spoke very clearly to me. I heard him say, “Jayme, if I only used perfect people to go out into the world and make a difference… I could use no one.”
Through all these moments I have had the privilege of bonding and building bridges with the community I seek to serve.
Every time I return to LaFond, I am more and more just one of them. I’m no longer the Blan (white or foreigner). I’m Jayme. I’m friend. I’m neighbor. I’m sister. I’m godmother. LaFond is much a part of me as I am a part of it. It is now that I can offer the love of Christ, because it is now, that I have earned the trust. It is now that they know how much I care that they will care about what I know.
I will be moving to Haiti in January of 2018. I covet your prayers in this transition. Please pray for my kids and parents back home as they let me go off on this new voyage in life. Pray for my income as I will be working as a massage therapist to the missionaries around Haiti, offering a healing touch by using the gift God has given me. And pray for my witness in the village of LaFond. I will be traveling to the village every other week for a long weekend. My goal is to keep our sponsors more connected with their kids, keep our donors more updated with our projects but most importantly to be involved in everyday life of the ladies and the kids I work with. To share the love of Christ.