Lipscomb sophomore distance runner Katie Bunker along with a number of teammates are on a mission trip to Haiti. The following is an update from Bunker on the trip.
The end of day number two of Lipscomb Track and Field’s mission trip to Haiti has arrived much quicker than I expected. The past two days have flown by; jammed packed with travel, food, sleep (or lack thereof), and, of course, children! Friday morning we started our trip in an incredibly painful and unexpected way, as the news of the passing of our teammate Matt Deery crushed the hearts of each of us. The announcement was made as we packed up the cars in front of Allen Arena at 6 a.m. Though difficult as it was, we pushed forward in the midst of this sadness, knowing Matt would never want to keep us from our mission in Haiti.
With heavy hearts, we traveled the 15 hours south to Miami with a fairly uneventful but successful trip. A short night’s rest rejuvenated us, and we woke up this morning to leave for the airport at 5 a.m. After climbing onto the tiny, ten-row plane, we had a smooth and timely flight into Cap Haitien.
An open-air bus owned by the Cap Haitien Children’s Home (CHCH) picked us up from the small airport, and we were instantly thrown into the Haitian culture. The short five-minute drive to the orphanage was eye-opening, and at that moment, the trip became real. Upon arrival to CHCH we quickly settled into our “dorms” and took a short tour of the orphanage. Then with slight uncertainty we began the awkward introductions to the 50 or so kids who are currently living here.
It didn’t take long though before each member of the team was playing with, laughing with, or talking with several smiling, bright- eyed children. After only a short hour or two, I found that I could name almost half of the kids! We all made bonds with children quickly, and I found myself with a special friend the whole day: a sweet, crazy, but sometimes shy 5-year old named Negina. I’m excited to build this friendship and many more the rest of the week!
The love we experienced today as we played with and got to know the orphans here was incredible—love shown through singing at the top of our lungs in a language we don’t know, wildly dancing around with the little girls before bedtime, or getting schooled in basketball by a little boy half your size (Alexander). If today was any indication as to how the remainder of our trip will be, I can say right now it’s going to be phenomenal. God has already started and is going to do amazing things here at CHCH, and we are so blessed to be a part of it.
Until next time,