Bonjou zanmis (hello friends in Kreol)! My name is Tyler Martin, and I’m a huge fan of Nadege and the work they are building towards in Haiti. In fact, I feel so strongly about their mission of restoring hope to Haitian women, that I actually made way down to Haiti in early July with a couple of my friends to learn about Haitian culture, love the Haitian people, and jump into what God is doing there!
To say it was an unforgettable trip would be a pretty huge understatement. I could write a short novel about my team’s experience, but I’ll contain myself and share about my favorite part of Haiti, the people! Here are three of the most remarkable people we got to spend time with on our trip:
Rachel (picture here with our team) is one of those people that you instantly know is going to change the world after about 30 seconds of interacting with her. She is an incredible Haitian woman who has served the Lord all over the world, and now is devoting her life to coming alongside Nadege in empowering women in Haiti. We got the opportunity to meet up with her on Nadege’s land in Jacmel, and while we were there she shared with passion about the ways God had directly led to her commit her to life to freeing women from oppression in the name of Jesus. My entire team literally had chills listening to her! Not only was her passionate vision for her country amazing, but she also helped our team a ton through connecting us with a local school and a local church in Jacmel that we got to go visit. Score! On top of all that, we all loved hearing her talk about her favorite Haitan recipes and her adorable 7 year old daughter Abigail. Basically, our team unanimously decided that Rachel was just the best!
From the moment Nadia welcomed us onto the grounds the school she runs in Jacmel (pictured), I knew that our team was going to learn a lot from this woman. She is the kind of person that radiates with kindness, laughs greatly, and pours out insight each time she speaks. We all sat in a circle with her during a warm Haitian day and asked her all kinds of questions about her home country of Haiti, the Haitian education system, and the role of women in Haitian society. Like I said, we learned a lot! She was deeply encouraged to hear about the mission of Nadege, and particularly excited about the opportunity for the children of Nadege’s women to attend her school, which is within walking distance of Nadege’s land. Similar to Rachel, I was just blown away by the amount of passionate vision Nadia had for Haiti. God is surely raising up leaders in this country, how exciting is it think about Nadege partnering with visionaries like this?!
My man Junior! This guy was our guide throughout our trip in Haiti. We actually traveled via hiking between cities for most of the trip, so we definitely owe our lives to Junior for getting us around the mountains/forests of Haiti. Apart from his hiking skills though, Junior was unendingly selfless and equally hilarious in the 10 days we got to spend with him. By the end of the trip our group had its own language of inside jokes, and Junior flashed some impressive freestyle rapping skills. Junior also fielded countless questions from our team about Haiti, and did an incredible job at helping shape our understanding of Haitian culture. Within many of these conversations Junior would share his hopes for the future of Haiti, and his heart for his country undoubtedly shaped mine as well. Genuinely feel like I gained a big brother in Junior, and I’m very hopeful that I’ll see him again.
As you can see, God blessed us some incredible new friends during our time in Haiti. I loved every single part of my time in Haiti, from the delicious food to the hectic cities to the soaring mountains, but what I will cherish the most are these (and many more!) people. They welcomed me into their homeland, gave me plenty of lifelong memories, and shared their bold hopes for what God will do in Haiti. I’m beyond thankful for each of them, and so confident that by standing alongside people like these, Nadege truly will restore hope all over Haiti!