Sunday, July 1, 2012

KISS - Nicole from Three 31

I'm happy to have a fellow "transplant" Texan here today to share her take on Keepin It Simple!

Hey there, I'm Nicole from Three 31. I'm so honored that Jennifer would invite to participate in her series, Keep It Simple Sunday. I hope you'll visit my little corner of bloggy-land by subscribing to Three 31 via email and follow on social media.
A little about me ... I'm a Kentucky girl through-and-through. Ten years ago, I met a Texan, moved to Texas, and now that Texan is my Husband. (I capitalize that H because that's what I really call him.) We live near Fort Worth, in the country where the crickets chirp and Blue (our white horse) rules the roost and roams the pasture. When I'm not blogging, I enjoy cooking, reading, drinking sweet tea from a Mason jar, volunteering, and visiting family. When Husband's not roping steers or driving me nuts, he's doing something super-secretive for the U.S. government. If he told me what he did, he'd have to kill me. We decided it would be in our best interest that he not tell me. It pays our bills, provides a super-blessed life, and I'm super-thankful for all of the above. Enough about me, I want to introduce you to my "simple" friends in the Caribbean.

When I hear the word simple, I immediately think of my time spent in Port-au-Prince, Haiti last summer. Hopefully, you remember the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck PAP January 10, 2010. It was massive, and very devastating to a country already struggling. Yet, Haitians are joy-filled, gracious, and their smiles are as big as Texas. {no pun intended} When my team and I arrived, more than a year after the disaster, the scene was worse than I could have ever imagined. Yet, for teammates who had been there in 2010, it was much better. Whodathunkit?! I don't want you to think of Haiti as crumbled steel and concrete, or even garbage-filled streets and sidewalks. Instead, I want to focus on the simplicity of serving alongside humanity (in this case, Haitians) in times of great need. One of the most simple, yet profound moments of the entire trip occurred the morning our team purchased a tetanus shot for a 19-year-old Haitian boy working at the school site. The day before, while building exterior walls on the second story, he stepped on a nail. Would you like to take a guess on how much the injection cost? The medication cost our team less than one American dollar. Even more profound, it potentially saved the young man's life. Every time I feel overwhelmed, stressed, or have a case of the poor-pitiful-me's, I remember Haiti. I am grateful for the experience. I am grateful for my Haitian friends. And, most importantly, I am thankful to the Haitian people for reminding me that life should be lived simply and wholeheartedly. In these eyes, you see HOPE for babies born to HIV mothers and cared for by mission volunteers and staff at Grace Children's Hospital. In these eyes, you see ANTICIPATION for sweet fruits to fall to the ground, providing a juicy treat. For many, this might be their only meal of the day. In these eyes, you see GRATITUDE from a young Haitian boy whose school is being rebuilt by teams of volunteers. Our team also provided coloring books, sidewalk chalk, and soccer balls for recreation time. In these eyes, you see CONNECTION between two men, one American and the other a Haitian, exchanging shoes. A simple gesture and a simple gift. Moments later, the Haitian (wearing his new footwear) stepped on a nail but the thick soles protected his foot. Again, a simple and potentially life-saving gift. Our task was simple: to aid in the school's reconstruction and be in relationship with others. Among buckets of dirt, shoveling rock, digging a trench, and delivering supplies to the children's hospital, I was blessed so much more than I expected by the people of Haiti. I enjoyed my first trip to Haiti so much, that I'm returning this October as co-leader of another adult team from Joshua, Texas. I look forward to seeing my Haitian friends again, as well as visiting the school that is open and classes are in session. Haitians live a simple life out of necessity and the grim reality of their situation. But, instead of focusing on what they don't have, Haitians are full of joy, express gratitude, and smile the most beautiful smiles I've ever seen.
Thanks again for letting me be a part of the KISS series.


Thanks for sharing Nicole! This makes me want to hop on a plane and make a difference somewhere new. And then I remember that I can make a difference where I am right now... I just have to keep my eyes and heart open!
PS! Happy Canada Day!! :)

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I have no words.. what an amazing trip and experience. :)


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