Church group takes mission of faith to Haiti

HARLINGEN — When God moves you, he moves you.

Sometimes he moves you to places you’ve never been before.

And when God moves you, he usually does it for a reason.

That is what Caroline Steele said of her mission trip to Haiti a few weeks ago.

She was one of four parishioners from St. Paul Lutheran Church sent to help Haitians in their time of need during one of the church’s many mission trips.

After the devastation from Hurricane Mathew at the beginning of October, Haiti and the surrounding areas were left mostly in shambles, prompting several mission groups to help.

Steele, along with Kayla Brock, Mark Jetzke and Tracy Campbell, made their way to Haiti to help with medical and spiritual healing.

Once there, they joined up with a group of others from Mission Haiti, a Florida-based missionary group focusing on primarily supplying help to Haiti.

Most of the group was comprised of missionaries, nurses and doctors.

“My part, along with the pharmacist, was to conduct hygiene classes,” Steele said.

Others handed out medicines, conducted exams and spoke the Gospel.

The group also weighed and measured children and checked for malnourishment.

“There wasn’t much we could do regarding follow-up, but at least this one time they could see a doctor,” Steele said.

The group was there for about nine days in which they conducted five clinics, seeing more than 300 people a day.

“We saw all kinds of people,” Brock said. “For some, this was their one shot at seeing a doctor.”

When conditions weren’t ideal, the group set up a clinic anyway.

At one point during the trip, the rainy weather and mud had stranded the group on the side of a mountain. But that didn’t stop them. They set up shop anyway.

“It was in someone’s front yard,” Brock said.

The most interesting thing about Haiti the two noted was the people.

While on their mission, they met many families, men, women and children.

One woman in particular was waiting for aid with her children. The others in line were not happy at her dirty and drab appearance. Some of the others told her she would not get aid because of how dirty she and her children looked.

“People were telling her, you are too dirty, you need to leave,” Brock said.

After pulling the woman aside and with the help of a translator, they found out that the clothes on their backs were the only clothes they owned.

“She had six kids at home but she had to sell two of them into servitude,” Brock said. “She did that she said because she knew they would be fed and taken care of.”

With the money from selling her children, she was able to feed her other children.

With any mission trip, the group agrees, one does not expect to see the things you might see on a trip like this.

“You got to go in with no expectations and be flexible, saying we’ll do whatever.”