Hospice of Fayette County’s chaplain, Pastor Jeff Davis and volunteer, Glenna Rowe, recently traveled to Haiti on a mission trip with Leesburg United Methodist Church through SIF, Servants in Fellowship.
Davis and Rowe spent four days in Haiti with their primary mission to spread, share and grow God’s love while building 12×12 homes approximately 10 miles outside of Port-au-Prince.
After each home was built, the missionaries blessed the home and distributed Bibles to the family in their language, Creole. Both Glenna and Pastor Jeff stressed that the mission went far beyond just building homes.
“It wasn’t about the houses, it was about the people. To see the little children living in these conditions was hard, but I have a new appreciation and see all the excess that I have,” said Glenna.
During their mission the group had time to interact with people within the community.
“The people were very appreciative, helpful, loving and very active in their daily survival. They cooked over open fire, did laundry by hand and had to collect and carry their water,” explained Pastor Jeff.
Glenna and Jeff went on to share the community dynamics with me. The missionaries do not decide which families receive homes; instead, the community leaders in the area decide which families will receive homes. Although jobs are tight and people are poor, members of the community take great pride in their worship.
“They dress in their best clothes for church and walk barefoot 45 minutes one way to Port-au-Prince to worship,” said Rowe.
This experience has affected the individual work that both Glenna and Pastor Jeff do for Hospice of Fayette County.
“I had the opportunity to converse with patients before I went on this mission trip. They sent me prayers while I was away and were very interested in the stories that I had to share when I returned. I am drawn closer to the Lord which I am able to bring to work with me every day,” said Pastor Jeff.
Glenna’s experience shed a new light for her.
“I was unfortunately very sick during and after the trip, which limited me on what I was able to do on the mission and when I returned home. I had to learn to give up some control. It has given me a new understanding of how a patient can feel frustrated about not being able to do things they once did, which I am able to take with me on my volunteer visits,” said Rowe.
“If you get an opportunity to go on a trip like this, don’t question it, just go,” shared Pastor Jeff.
Although there was a language barrier between the missionaries and the Haitian people, kindness and love is understood in every corner of the world.
Carolyn Moore is the Hospice of Fayette County marketing and fundraising coordinator.