If your life is anything like mine, Christmas is a memory and it's back to the regular day to day routine... except for one minor detail: my bags are packed, and I fly to Haiti tomorrow morning (from Florida, where I'm spending tonight). For years I have wanted to go on a volunteer trip, but the right trip never seemed to come up. It either conflicted with school, or work, or wedding season, or was too expensive, or there was another reason it just wasn't right. I eventually resolved to just wait. I would know when the trip presented itself.
One thing I LOVE about the photography industry is the passion I see amongst my fellow photographers. It's unlike anything I've ever seen. Everyone seems to have a cause that they actively contribute to in their 'off season'. It's so inspiring. About a year ago, I was sitting in a photography conference in Santa Barbara, California when the next presenter took the stage. For the next 25 minutes I listened to Josh Newton's presentation about using your passion to make a difference in the world... either on a one on one basis, locally, or internationally. He had just returned from Haiti, volunteering with a team of photographers at Child Hope International in Port au Prince.
Here is a glimpse into their trip:
All of a sudden (and out of no where) I realized the trip I had been waiting for was right in front of me. My decision was made that day.... I was going on the next Passion Project to Haiti.
The time came to sign up, pay my funds, and sign a few papers. I sent what was needed without much more thought. Booked my flights, and double checked my immunizations, again, without really thinking about what lay ahead. There wasn't much to think about... I knew in my heart I was meant to go on this trip.
Well.... the week of departure arrived and I've been kind of freaking out. It's almost GO time. I'm about to enter the unknown. I'm about to be standing amidst a different world, wondering if anything I'm doing is actually making a difference.
But, the more I think about it, the more I remember that God works in mysterious ways. He is making a difference every day, and he uses us when we are open and willing to go where we are called. So. Here I am. Not naively believing that I will make any difference at all.... but having faith that HE will work in me and through me in ways I never imagined possible. Once I come to terms with that fact... I'm actually excited to go and see what's in store... the last bit of nerves will fade once we get settled in, I'm sure.
Thank you for your prayers, well wishes, donations of supplies for the kids... Below is a photo of just some of the supplies that were generously donated. I ended up fitting about twice that amount into my suitcase... somehow.
I can't wait to share the stories and photos when I return!