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Gamecock Shares Haiti Mission Trip Experience

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The following blog post was written by rising junior student-athlete Taylor Josserand from the swimming & diving team about her mission trip to Haiti.

Hope for Haiti
On May 19th I returned from Titanyen, Haiti (just north of the capital, Port-au-Prince) where I was working at the Mission of Hope Haiti Organization.  While there I helped at the orphanage, worked on construction projects and went to different villages surrounding the area to visit with the kids, minister, and pray with the families. It was truly a remarkable experience and one that I can say has changed my life.

I was in Titanyen for one week and stayed on the main campus of Mission of Hope (MOH). MOH has two other campuses as well, but the main one, located in Titanyen, consists of an orphanage, church, schooling from kindergarten through high school, a prosthetics lab, staff and guest housing, as well as their Three Cords building. Three Cords is a business of headbands, housing supplies, recipes, bags, and much more all designed by disabled Haitian women.  All of the proceeds go to these women to support them.

Taylor Josserand - Haiti2.jpg

Josserand with a young girl in a Titanyen orphanage

It's hard for me to put my experience into words, as I'm still in the process of taking in everything that occurred and I experienced and much of what I felt cannot even be described through words.  Many have seen photos of this third world country, but you truly cannot be impacted to the full effect without having been there and seen it with your own eyes.  Many assume the worse about Haiti and when people heard that I was going there for mission work they automatically asked if I was scared or nervous. Yes, I was both, but I can tell you I felt so safe while there and the people of this country are so genuine, happy, and appreciative of what they get. I have never seen so much happiness and joy, especially in the children, while having absolutely nothing.  Life over there is so hard and people have absolutely nothing, yet they somehow manage to find hope and put a smile on their face. I honestly was shocked. I don't know how they live the lives they do.  Most do not have food, do not have homes, and do not have much clothing. The children I saw out in the villages rarely had both a shirt and pants on, and most did not have shoes on. The homes they lived in, if they had homes, were made of plywood or tent-like structures, serving very little purpose except to maybe supply some shade and coverage during the rain. It was so hot and most of these villages do not have trees to provide any type of shade, so it makes it very hard for anyone to really escape the heat.  The children I met were incredible.  I have never seen such obedient children, who were all so loving and gentle!  They flock to you and simply want your hand to be held and you to hold them, and that puts a smile on their face.

Haiti is a beautiful country, full of so many wonderful people.  The MOH Organization started in 1998 and is continuing to grow and to help the people of Haiti so that one day they can be self-sufficient and help the country become successful without MOH.  They have so much love for their country, but they just need the education, so much of this organization is focused on the younger generation, as they are the hope this country has.

Going to Haiti is one of the best decisions of my life, and I will continue to support and do all I can for Haiti through this organization, as well as planning another trip to Haiti this year, and many more to follow. It was a life changing experience full of so much love, joy, happiness, and hope. I recommend everyone to one day make a trip there, as it will change your life!

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Thank you for sharing about your trip to Haiti. What a precious opportunity. We've had numerous groups from our church to go to Haiti and they've all come back with incredible stories.

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