Friday, December 19, 2014

My Awesome Nephew Deven on Haiti & Happiness
Keeping Up with the Hattabaughs

Thoughts from Deven Hattabaugh
Deven is 13 years old and an 8th grader. Deven was kind enough to share with us his experiences from the summer spent in Haiti.

Here it is and we are coming up on Christmas time. It makes me think back to my trip over the summer to Haiti.
While I was in Haiti, I met all these beautiful happy people who had next to nothing. Driving by their houses, I noticed that their entire house was smaller than my bedroom! All these people were so happy about life. It's so weird because I look around here at home and all I see are people who are angry, mad, or unhappy. Why are we all so unhappy when we have everything we could want at our finger tips?

My family spent 3 weeks in Haiti this past summer. The first week, the youth group from our church was there. We had a VBS with the local children and teens. The day of the teen VBS, after some singing and learning, it was play time. A bunch of girls from our group and Haitians were dancing in a circle and one person was in the center at a time. I was standing on the edge of the group watching them when one of the girls pointed at me to go in the center. Of course I jumped right in and started dancing my crazy dance. I don't think I have ever heard so many girls laugh so hard. It was one of those moments that was just so funny and a great time just being a teen.

On that day, I also met a little boy named Jinn. He was 5 years old and could speak a little bit of English. I originally thought he was about 2 years old because he was so small and adorable. We became good friends. I would see him at church and he would come sit with me. He lives right by our guest house in Haiti. 

The last day before we came home was one of the best days I had in Haiti. Dis, one of the workers, and his family came to the house to get a water filtration system. We had a football and a couple Frisbees at the house. My sister, Katy Deenihan (another teen staying with us) and I started playing with the kids. A few of the neighborhood kids came in the yard and also started playing. I had so much fun running around with all the kids. It's pretty crazy that even though we couldn't communicate with language, we were able to play and just have a great time being kids.

Later we were all sitting around and Velix [NLH field worker and very good friend] was helping us translate to the other kids. It was so crazy because I was younger than a few of the boys that I thought were about only eight. If you knew me, you would know I am a big kid. The Haitian kids couldn't believe that I was younger than them. They thought I was 16-18 years old, and I had just turned 13!

I am so thankful for the time I got to spend in Haiti. It has really opened my eyes to the world outside my little bubble. And it has really made me appreciate what I have, and made me want to help more.

From my family to yours, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. And as we go through the stressful holiday season, just remember that happiness is a choice. If my friends, the ones you help support in Haiti with next to nothing can be happy, why can't we?

We encourage you to become monthly partners with Chris and Rachel, which will allow them to make New Life for Haiti even more fruitful in changing lives among the poor.

You can contact Chris at Chris.Hattabaugh