Saturday, April 30, 2011


How does God transform people. Does he he simply make a motion with his hand and we are changed? Does he wait until we are sleeping, change us and when we wake up we are something different, into something he wants us to be. I believe he gives us free will for a reason, to have the ability to transform ourselves and to make choices that directly reflect how Jesus lived and served. Many people have asked how can God make people suffer the way they do, or why are the poor people poor? If God is almighty, why can't he just fix this all?

The answer to me is God is with the poor people, he is with the sick and needy children in Haiti and the rest of the world. He always has been. He talks about poor people in the Bible over any other group. He has blessed people like us to spread these blessings around to poor and needy. We are the ones that should step up.

I have had an amazing trip to Haiti, one in which that has blessed me when I was supposed to be the one serving. I have had God move farther in my heart than I have in a long time. I believed I had a strong faith before, and after seeing Haiti first hand my faith is even stronger. I have a new found hope and understanding for the life that God wants us to live. We are given an opportunity to do life our way, we can either ignore the world around us or we can step up and serve the way Jesus served. We can meet the poor where they are, whether they are in the United States or another country. We as Christians can help our neighbors wherever they may be.

God, thank you for bringing me to Haiti to witness lives transformed, faith renewed, to have my heart broken and to instill a new passion inside of me. Please help me to determine what steps are next for me and my family and how we can use this experience to further your glory.

I pray for our team and the teams before and after us to keep the passion you have given us by witnessing the people of Haiti.

Brian McNeill - Healing Haiti Team Member

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jumping and Screaming...

Driving a firetruck up to a school of excited and screaming kids is an amazing and wonderful feeling I have felt in my heart. I would hit the siren and honk the horn to see all the kids running and jumping with laughter on their faces. What an awesome sight.

I never thought there would be something that would impact me as it had on the first day in Haiti. Yesterday our team drove a water truck into the worst areas of Cite Soleil, "City of the Sun." As we drove hanging on the side of the truck I was awe struck at what I was seeing, the devastation, the garbage, the naked kids, the sick, the hungry, the ......everything you can think of. I just kept thinking how much more could I see that would affect me, how much more is there , until we slowed down and Maxime our driver honked the big air horn. At first I thought a car was in our way as I had heard hundreds of horns already. Then I heard a longer sustaining horn and noticed what was going on.

Kids from all sides started emerging from their tattered tents and rusted shacks, jumping and screaming in the same fashion as I had witnessed driving a fire truck. What came over my heart next shook me to my core. This was all happening because of water, it was then when I cried behind my sunglasses. This was such a basic need, something so simple yet these children of God had little to none. They continued running, screaming and smiling right at us and I kept trying to hide my eyes and smile back. From that moment on it went in a blur of mismatched emotions.

We filled hundreds of buckets of water, delivering them deep into row after row of crowded shacks, averaging in size by 8 feet by 8 feet filled with families. We would deliver water to shacks that had ocean front property completely overtaken by garbage, human waste and many other things that are simply unidentifiable. We walked by a woman in labor, children so crippled they could not move and countless mothers offering their children up for a better life with us in America.

As I said before, the day went by in a blur of mismatched of emotions. We all should be sad and full of despair, but that was not the case for them. Everyone we met smiled and greeted us with Bon Jou or "Good morning." Their lives are full of daily struggles for simple things I take for granted. Children sick and malnourished, but they are full of life and smiles. On a walk we took through the city we would sing Hallelujah and the children would sing it back with a smile and a laugh followed by Bondye, Creole for God.. Hallelujah to God. I am amazed these people we encountered have had everything taken away from them, yet all I hear is "Glory to God" and "Honor to God in the Highest."

We went to three separate places in Cite Soleil and left each one with children hanging on us, still smiling and all of us with breaking hearts.

Lord I am so thankful for my experiences here, your willingness to use me in any way you see how and for transforming me into something a new.

Brian McNeill - Healing Haiti Member

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Leaving Haiti...

As I sit here in this airport and reflect on the trip I find myself very content yet filled with so many feelings. There is a big part of me that doesn’t want to come home yet, but I’m excited to see friends and family as well. I often wonder why Haiti? Why did I come to Haiti? But when I’m here I know why. God is so present in everything. Haiti is a beautiful country but yet so much poverty. Where someone might see despair and garbage I see the kid flying a kite or the men fishing in the ocean. Haiti is a place that brings me joy and makes me smile. When I’m in Haiti it is much easier for me to completely let go and let God. Why is it when I get home I try to control things and try to do things my own way?

When I’m in Haiti it’s a constant reminder to me as to how extremely blessed I am. This is something I often take for granted or simply over look. It’s the little things in life like being able to brush your teeth with clean water from the faucet, taking a hot shower, walking down the street and not being covered in dust, simply walking down a paved street with sidewalks, or having enough food to eat. In America these are things we expect, but here it would be a luxury. I’ve learned that God doesn’t want me to feel guilty about where I live but He wants me to remember all that He has blessed me with and challenges me to extend the love and grace that I am so richly blessed with to those less fortunate. Whether this is in Haiti or Minnesota or where ever, I know that God is calling me serve and be thankful for all that He has given me. Nothing that I have is because of me, but it is all from Him and should be used for Him. But why is that so hard to do in America? I think God is teaching me that it is important for me to extend grace to others as God has extended to me. This isn’t always easy, but if someone has done it for me shouldn’t I be willing to do it for others?

Leaving Haiti makes me sad, but I am joyful for all that God has used me for and what He has done in my heart. We serve an amazing God and I know He has great plans for the country of Haiti.

Healing Haiti Team Member