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The following story was written by Jeanna Campbell, director of worship arts at Providence United Methodist Church

My very first introduction to Grace and Glory came from its founder and my friend, Tanna Clark. She encouraged me to travel to see the school on her next trip, and while I loved and believed in the mission, I was very nervous about the idea of traveling to Haiti. What could I do to help? I don’t speak Creole or French (beyond my high school class from 25 years ago), I’m not a teacher, builder, water systems engineer, farmer; basically, I could not figure out any transferable skill set of mine that would be helpful to the school or the community in Haiti. I am a little accident prone, so my biggest fear was that I would get down there, hurt myself in some way and be completely useless. I prayed and talked with my husband Adam and some trusted friends, and I really felt like God was telling me to just go. So I went. 

When our team arrived at the school for the first time, we were greeted with the kids singing happily, “Bonjour mes amis, Bonjour!” (which translates to “Hello my friends, hello!)  It was impossible not to smile as we saw the faces of the kids as they took us by the hands and welcomed us into their schoolroom. I was beginning to understand that I do have something to offer. I couldn’t speak their language but I didn’t need words to start coloring with the kids and take silly selfies with them on my phone. I didn’t need to have construction experience to be able to sit criss-cross applesauce across from a group of kids and make up handshakes. My southern mama-heart was honored to help the ladies plate and serve lunch to the students - a meal of delicious rice, beans and vegetables. After the blessing of the meal, I watched in awe as every child waited patiently for their entire table to be served before they all started eating. The kids shared with each other until everyone was finished. 
 

I’ve never forgotten that first day at the school. Since then, I’ve learned a little more Creole, seen the permanent school building built and was even able to throw up a few concrete bricks to help (thankfully incident-free while being supervised by the experts). I’ve had the honor to participate in bringing water to a remote village, and also enjoyed an end-of-year celebration for the school with beautiful music and dancing. So much fun. So much life! I’ve held lots of beautiful babies, and talked with Grandmothers who shared their hopeful dreams for their families. It has been such a privilege to be a first hand witness to the beauty of the Grace and Glory school, and the village of Montrouis. 

 

I am reminded that when God calls us, he calls us individually, to use our own unique gifts for His kingdom. We don’t need to compare our gifts with others - God will equip us and use us for His purposes. We in our own power don’t have to feel the need to set the world on fire, because God is already working. My heart fills up and my eyes fill up when I think about Grace and Glory and the kingdom work happening there. I can’t wait until I can go back -  to be present with our students and in turn learn more about who God is, and of course, more hugs, more giggles, and more silly selfies. 

If you're interested in learning more about trips to Haiti and child sponsorship, please follow the link below! 
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