This is a post written by board member Trudi Keeport who assists with the vision clinics.

Trudi sorting glasses for the Pine Ridge Reservation vision clinic.

I guess I began looking for my own mission experience when my husband, Kevin, began going on the youth mission trips at our church. I couldn’t go at the time due to the ages of our children. This didn’t stop my urge to do “something, somewhere.”

Maxine (the leader of the Native American team at WAGC) and I reconnected through a TOPS group based in Mt Nebo. I say “reconnected” because I first met her when I went to school with her daughters. The first time Max asked me to go on a mission trip I declined as my oldest was a senior that year. I did promise to go the following year. Needless to say I was thrilled to have an experience that was uniquely my own.

After 3 trips to Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota where I assisted with Vision Clinics, things just couldn’t seem to line up for a return trip out west. In the meantime, Kevin decided to join our church’s adult mission team on a trip to Charrier, Haiti. (Shocking, since he’s sworn he’d never fly, let alone leave the country.)

January 2013 came, and he went. Upon his return, I was informed that I needed to go next year, that it would “change my life.”

I became very vocal about not wanting to go. I finally agreed but stated I was going under protest. I had no desire to go. I questioned everyone who went as to what they meant by “it will change your life.” No one could give me an answer.

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January 2014 came and I went. I was definitely not a happy traveler. I’m an observer by nature. There was a lot to observe between Miami and Charrier. I probably came off as a bit of a snob because there was a lot to see. (I’m a plant nut, and this was as close to heaven as I thought I would get. Think Longwood Gardens on steroids in your backyard!)

Well, we finally got to the mission house in Charrier. Then it was time to get ready for our first day in the field. We were headed up the mountain to a voodoo village to help build a water reservoir. While the rest of the team went, I was asked to take a side trip with Cindy, our coordinator. She was taking care of business while I stood outside with a bunch of teenagers. It didn’t take them long to figure out I knew no Creole and was very uncomfortable. Typical teens, they took it and ran with it. By the time Cindy got done, I was beyond irritated and lost no time telling her I absolutely did NOT want to be there.

So began a week of feeling useless. I’d walk to the village, sit in the sun, and watch the other gals play with the babies. That’s definitely NOT my idea of fun, even though I have 3 kids.

Since there wasn’t much for me to do, I spent the remainder of the time complaining about how much of a waste this week was, how the only way it changed my life was it made me realize how much I could have been doing at home. (Although I did get to sand 2 benches at an orphanage in Montrois on the last day-wah hoo).

On our last night in Montrois, we were sitting around talking with Cindy, her husband Rick, and Pastor Goudie. Cindy was going over her “wish list.” Holding a dental clinic and a vision clinic were mentioned. Kevin turned, looked at me, and said, “This is why you came. You know how to run a Vision Clinic.” Cindy, of course, was ecstatic. Me, not so much. Yes, I’m on the board of WAGC. Yes, I could lead a clinic; but the bigger question was, did I WANT to? My initial reaction was a definite NO, not me! But over the next few days I gathered my faith and took the plunge. It’s not about where I want to go, it’s about going where I’m sent.

So now I’m headed back to Charrier, looking to help with another vision, literally as well as figuratively.63da02019d710e433fb2f6c33812fbda

I’ve learned it never pays to shoot my mouth off about what I won’t do. God must be pretty amused with me by now because He doesn’t let me stay in my comfort zone for long.

To say I’m excited to be heading out would be correct. I’m stepping out in faith that this will be the first of many clinics. I’m keeping my heart and mind open to ALL possibilities and praying for the courage to step up and be the hands and feet of Christ. Just remember, I’m still a work in progress, so I’ll need a bit of prayer to prop me up.

Please keep Trudi and the team in your prayers as they complete this mission trip in Haiti from October 18-25, 2014.

 

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