Long Term Volunteers
Read what a few of our former long term volunteers say about their service with HOM:
Blessed and Forever changed
This experience has by no means been comfortable for me. Cold showers, peanut butter lunches almost every day, and being so far from the comfort of an American lifestyle all combine to make anyone a little uncomfortable. Life changing? Definitely. Comfortable? Not so much. In the 3 months I served with HOM, I’ve seen first hand how much the Haitian people have to offer. While financially they have so little, emotionally and spiritually they have more than I could have ever imagined. While I’ve seen the devastation of earthquake damage and waste in the streets, I’ve also been blessed to experience the beauty of the beaches, mountains, and smiling people around me.
Not only have I been blessed by the Haitian people around me, but I’ve learned so much from the other American long term volunteers. Matt Woosley is able to put a positive spin on even the most frustrating experience. Marty Welp is one of the most giving men of God I’ve ever been around… not to mention hilarious! Jessi Stitt is so much fun and was able to ward off my homesickness like no one else could. And last, but certainly not least, Patty Villalobos was a great roommate and was always there to listen and encourage me. My heart has been forever changed by this experience and these beautiful people. I can’t wait to come back and bring more people with me!
Katie Bostic, Indiana
Have you heard the saying, “How can you see this and not believe in God?” This is what I say every single day I am in Haiti. The beauty that surrounds me here is one that can’t be described by words. It is something that can only be felt by the heart. And Haiti has captured mine.
At first glance, Haiti is seen as a broken nation with no hope of recovery. But as I spent more time here and formed relationships with the smiling people of Haiti, I have learned to see the country through the eyes of the people. This place is no longer a broken nation, but a nation of broken people with so much hope in their eyes. I came here to serve the people of Haiti, but quickly found out that it’s not about that at all. Haitians have the one thing that can make their hunger go away, their pains go away, and their financial troubles go away. It’s the love of Christ. I see how they have struggled, and I thank God that He has put an incredible willingness in them to live their lives despite their circumstances.
Haiti has blessed me far more than I can ever imagine. The family I have made here is one overflowing with love. The friendships I have made are better than any I can ever imagine. Growing up, I didn’t experience much love or friendship, but in Haiti I feel love all around me every day. Even something as simple as a “bonswa” has changed my life forever. I have found that I can’t help but love everyone here. I have been welcomed with open arms and all I want to do share that same love back. I take back with me something that is vital in life. I take back the willingness to love and be loved. Living in Haiti is a different experience for everyone, but for me it has been a journey of hope and how to love. I will forever be changed and will always remember the smiling faces of the people of Haiti.
Patty Villalobos, California
I went to Haiti as an English Teacher and lived at Terre Noire where the school was. I taught first through sixth graders during their school day, the teachers after school, translators once a week and also some MICECC staff. But there was so much more to it. HOM’s many facets allowed me to see much more of Haitian living than just the schooling. With the volunteer groups that came down I was able to do construction both on the MICECC campuses and in the neighborhoods, help with patients in the medical clinics, play games and sing songs with kids during VBS, worship at the different churches and see a few of the sights in the Haitian countryside and swim in the ocean.
The Haitian people are so warm and welcoming. They want to learn and they want to get to know you. I studied French in college and thought that would be helpful—and it was (though I’m forever grateful to Wahite Frick for being my translator for my classes). And learning Creole was fun. Most Haitians wanted to learn English, so knowing French and/or Creole wasn’t really necessary, but it was wonderful to see faces light up when I tried to speak in the native language.
The people I met and the relationships I made with Haitians, Canadians and Americans through HOM have meant so much to me even though I’m not great at keeping in touch. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to serve in Haiti. It opened my eyes to another culture, allowed me to meet new friends and share myself and my faith with them.
Jessi Stitt, Arkansas