by Natalia Kirychuk, Public Relations Writer
This summer, 11 Cedarville University students traveled to Les Cayes, Haiti, where Hurricane Matthew left widespread damage in October 2016. They helped lay the foundation for a hospital and for a much bigger work that God is doing in Haiti.
The Cedarville team spent the eight-day trip helping build a new hospital, which will be run by Bethesda Evangelical Mission, and visiting two orphanages. While at the orphanages, they played with children and gave them small gifts.
Leanne Rubosky, Cedarville's associate director of high school and transfer students, led the team. She had traveled to Haiti with her church last year, and that journey left her broken as she considered the desperate need in Haiti.
“I didn’t want to be one of those people who never went back,” said Rubosky. “This second trip showed me the progress that was being made in the country and allowed us to live side by side with the Haitians. I gained a deeper understanding of their lifestyle and left the country feeling encouraged by what God is doing.”
WATCH: Haiti Mission Team Highlight Video
The team also visited a local hospital where they delivered baby formula purchased with money from a cookie fundraiser. While there, they prayed over a baby on oxygen and struggling to live. The child’s mother saw this and cried out, “I want your Jesus!” She then prayed and accepted Christ as her personal savior.
Pastor Lubin, the director of Bethesda Evangelical Mission, asked if a student would preach during an English service on Sunday. Jesse Childress, a 2017 social work graduate, felt incredibly unprepared for such a venture and struggled with fear over the next few days. When nobody had volunteered by Saturday night, Childress accepted the invitation.
Without a clear direction for the sermon, Childress went to bed, but awoke a short time later, startled by the barking of dogs. “I knew this was God’s doing and prayed that if he wanted me to get up and prepare the sermon, he would need to quiet the dogs,” he said. “The dogs stopped barking, and I got up to struggle through lesson preparation.”
Childress spoke on passages from 1 Corinthians, reminding the Haitian believers to live a life of love, to serve God by serving others, to meet needs and to help people walk with the Lord.
“The experience preaching was an exercise in the faithfulness of God, his mercy and forgiveness and a reminder that I have so much growth left in my life,” said Childress. “The situation reminded me that God speaks in a variety of ways: through Scripture, through the saints, through random dogs that won't stop barking. It was a reminder that he is faithful to finish what he has started in me, and that he will not give up on me, despite my struggles.”
“A goal of our trip was to represent Christ and reflect him in all we do,” said Rubosky. “It was not about what we did in Haiti, but that we knew it was the Lord working through us and for the people of Haiti.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,760 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.