Students Staged Spring Break with A Purpose in Haiti

Student with childSpring Break 2013 proved to be a life-changing one for 12 Washington Adventist University students who used the opportunity to visit Haiti, March 10-18, and ministered to the needs of children there.

Led by sponsors, Chaplain Kaneil Williams and nursing faculty, Khadene Taffe, students conducted a week of prayer at the English Adventist Academy of Haiti (EAAH) as well as health and education sessions at the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) locations in Diquini, Haiti.

For Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, an already difficult socio-economic situation was made worse in January 2010 when a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake rattled the country, its epicenter just outside the capital, Port-Au-Prince. An estimated three million people were affected with more than 200,000 dead and some 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings, either collapsed or severely damaged.

Students spent their time distributing clothing and health products as well as providing information on good health practices. Four young people were baptized as a result of their efforts.  

Chaplain Kaneil Williams and baptismal candidates“Missions is more alive than it has ever been at WAU, “said Williams. “But we celebrate our success in sobriety, knowing that much work remains and greater things are yet to come.” 
Ronisha Watson, a junior nursing major described the trip as a life changing experience for her. “Seeing the living conditions really made me evaluate the way I view life, “she said. “Overall, the trip has made me more grateful for what I have.”
Freshman English major, Marci Corea, called the trip the farthest thing outside her comfort zone that she has ever experienced.

“I was deeply moved by the amount of need in Haiti and the continuous resilience of the people there. The children specifically took hold of my heart and showed me that true beauty can be found even in the darkest of situations.” 

And, declaring that she has left a piece of her heart in Haiti, social work major Janelle Walwyn, said she is eternally grateful for the opportunity to have served there.

“I will never forget the joy I experienced when working with the children of EAAH and in ADRA Village, as well as witnessing four young souls give their life to Christ,” she said.
Haiti is the first independent nation of Latin America and the Caribbean, the first black-led republic in the world and the second republic in the Americas when it gained independence in 1804 as part of a successful salve revolution, lasting nearly a decade.