Last summer, I left my tennis shoes there with a 13 year old girl named Junie. She was very skinny, like most Haitian children and she was responsible for caring for her siblings, which included long, daily walks barefooted to get safe water. She found her way to the compound where we were staying in Cayes, Jacmel (which is a beautiful, but very poor mountain seaside town) and we became friends instantly. She loved playing with my hair, and was fascinated at how different it was from her own.
Sunday morning, our mission team gave a report of their trip to the congregation. It's so important for our church family to hear first-hand how the money they've so generously given is being put to good use there and it's amazing how hearing about the awesome things God is doing there can tug at your heart strings and make you want to hop on the next flight to Port au Prince.
My heart did a somersault when I heard that Junie came the first day and asked specifically for me. I have more than remembered her. I have prayed for her frequently, told people about her, looked at these pictures and wondered where she is today or if having my shoes made her long walks any easier.... but the fact that she remembered me is so humbling. It's mindboggling to me to think that thousands of miles away, in a little village where most people don't even speak English, a little girl is thinking about me as much as I'm thinking about her. It was a privilege to serve her, to be friends with her, and to hear her story.
She might never know how much this meant to me, but I do know one thing. As much as I already wanted to go back to Haiti next summer after I graduate, hearing that she asked for me confirmed it. I have to go. I'm called to go. My heart is there. And if I am able to be reunited with her, that will make it that much sweeter.
"Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples."