Feb 23 2016 changed my life. I embarked on a journey of faith. I wanted to take a trip that completely allowed me to rely on God. I prayed, and Haiti was the outcome. I bought a ticket, packed a bag and headed to a place I’ve never been. I had no idea how God would show up, but I knew he would. I decided I wanted to volunteer at the local medical center with Mission of Grace. I didn’t want to ride in a car, I wanted to walk and meet the people of this country. I grabbed water and a backpack and started walking through the small village of Carries.

While walking, I saw so much; homes made out of brick and stone and I realized they had no addresses. I saw goats, chickens and children – lots of children. I wanted to keep my heart open as I embraced not only the amazing culture, but the differences in what was valued. As I got closer to my destination, I saw a man in the distance. From far away he looked disheveled; clothes dirty and tattered, no shoes on his feet and wrinkles in his skin that told a story of perseverance. As I walked closer to him he smiled. Wow.

I’ll never forget his smile. It was peaceful and full of light, as if he never had a care in the world. I stopped and he spoke to me. To my surprise he spoke English. He asked my name and told me his, Elaine. We chatted for a while and before I left he asked me for something… not money, not any shoes, or clothing. No, he simply asked, “Can you pray with me?”

My heart was so full and so happy. I immediately said, “Of course,” grabbed his hand and began to pray. In that moment, I realized that I didn’t need to ask God to change his life but to change mine. To allow me to see the light in others. To allow me to have gratitude daily for the little things I have. I needed God to let me be like this man… at peace.

As I said “Amen,” he opened his eyes, looked at me with tears and said, “Thank you!”
I captured this picture before speaking to him thinking he needed some type of medical help; not knowing that he was in better spirits than I. I entitled the picture “Never Judge a Book By its Cover.”

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