So, where to start? We are starting this blog to give everyone a glimpse of what Haiti and these other countries are like, a glimpse of what it is like to be a short-term medical missionary, a glimpse into how awesome it is to be able to use your skills, talents, time to be able to help a fellow human being in need. To share what it is like to have one’s life changed in just a few short days. Hopefully over the next few months, you will enjoy reading our ever-changing stories.
My story started in high school when I took my first mission trip to Belize to work in a children’s home and got “the bug” – the desire to do missions work again. I finally had the chance to go again after PA school – first to Mexico doing children’s ministry and then to Honduras on my first medical missions trip. I fell in love with this work and determined to do it again. I had already been planning a medical trip to Haiti in 2010 when the earthquake happened but this definitely expedited things. I had the opportunity to go down as part of the initial relief effort after the quake – a trip that changed my life. When Pastor Yves asked me to take on the project of getting the GVCM medical clinic up and running, I had no idea what I was getting into and, even more, no idea what saying yes would lead to. After my second trip to Haiti, a group of us started talking about our dream of an organization that focused on medical missions but in conjunction with groups already on the ground in the countries we work in. Why not support already established groups instead of starting projects that duplicated efforts? In early 2011, Impact was born, in my living room, with four people of like mind and like dreams getting together. In two short years, it is amazing how things have grown. We continue to take regular trips to Haiti and are expanding to Guatemala and Honduras.
People often ask me, why I do what I do. The simple answer is that I love it! It is my calling, my passion. So many of us are so blessed and so fortunate but we often lose sight of this is in the day-to-day chaos, myself included. When I go to other countries, I am reminded of how simple life can be, how much we should treasure things like our family, like food on our table and a roof over our heads. So many have so much less and yet still manage to be happy. It strikes me every time I’m in Haiti – how happy the people are, how much less they complain! It is a lesson I continue to remind myself of when I return. To find happiness in the little things, to look for the positive. To find that one thing of beauty in a world that seems to be falling apart. I invite you, my friend, to join me in this effort. I hope you will continue to follow all of us here at Impact on our journey. In the meantime, remember the words of the classic song written by Irving Berlin:
“When I’m worried and I can’t sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep…and I fall asleep counting my blessings.”
Till next time~ Jackie