After return from service project in Haiti, freshman alters perspective on privileges

By Jade Pham

After returning from mission trip to Haiti for a week with his Dad and group of people from his church, Sam Church, a freshman from Peet Junior High, had the eye-opening opportunity to see that compared to the devastating poverty and tragic destruction after hurricanes and an earthquake, the citizens of the United States live like kings. While in Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, he saw citizens lacking nearly everything: roofs over their heads, clothes on their bodies, food on their plates and money in their pockets. He knew he had made the right decision to answer his calling to help.

It started with his faith. With his dad and brother having been to Haiti before on mission trips, Church decided to join this year and really connect with the children there.

“I felt like God was calling me to do something new, and I thought that this mission trip was the perfect way I could do that,” Church said. “I was hoping to achieve a better understanding of God’s way of working in people’s hearts.”

While there, Church found himself both happy and sad. Happy, because “they were the happiest people I had ever seen. They were welcoming and encouraging. They were so loving that I almost forgot they were in such bad conditions,” Church said.

Two kids in Haiti that Church had the opportunity to connect with were two little boys named Lolo and Kevin, and just by looking at the pictures taken of Church and both boys, it really is visible from the smiles on their faces, how happy they truly are.


But Church was also sad, from seeing through his own eyes the state of everyone and everything there. “Many of the kids wore only a shirt with no pants, especially toddlers. Most of them had no shoes, or very crappy shoes,” Church said. ”It broke my heart to see the way they live, then coming back and seeing the people here [Cedar Falls], aren’t nearly as happy and loving as the people there.”

So what can we do as a community to help out these people? Church says that all we can do, is understand the differences in culture, and pray.

Church said it was an extremely enlightening experience and allowed him to see a new outlook on affluence and learn some life lessons. He plans on trip to Haiti, as it has been an event that has changed his life. “I have learned many things from my trip to Haiti; the main thing, is that poverty is a perspective, and we all experience it equally, just in different ways.”

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.