Students visit Haiti

What was the most interesting thing you did over Christmas break? For a group of six Eastern students, it was boarding a plane and flying to the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

On Jan. 8, approximately one year after the devastating earthquake, Anne Francois and six students traveled to the country of Haiti. 

The group, which was led by sophomore Becca Channing and senior Jay Muindi, was part of a “Transformational Travel Program” designed by missions organization Beyond Borders.

The primary goal of the trip was “to go and be learners and build relationships,” sophomore Natasha Yoder said. Yoder has felt a call to travel to Haiti since she was four, and this trip was her first opportunity to do so.

The group also included students senior Daphne Desulma, junior Carmen Weaver and junior Lindsay Lippincott.

“Going back after the earthquake was emotionally hard for me” Francois, Haitian native and chair of Eastern’s French Language Department, said. “I did not recognize the places where I used to walk around. The center city is totally destroyed. Thousands of people are living in tents. It seemed surreal and chaotic.”

Despite the circumstances, the natives of Haiti seemed optimistic. “There is a lot of hope in Haiti,” Channing said. “The Haitian people are some of the strongest people I have ever met.”

Students wishing to participate on this annual trip next year can contact Andy Horvath, Director of Christian Formation.

Francois encourages all students to keep Haiti in their thoughts and prayers. “I would ask the Eastern community to continue praying for the people of Haiti,” she said, “with the hope that someday God will lighten their load of suffering.”


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