About 100 local volunteers are proving very helpful to this year’s IYF English Camp. They have become stepping stones that connect American volunteers to their Haitian students through dance instruction and translation. The majority of local volunteers were connected through the 2012 IYF English Camp and April Bible Seminar at the Haiti Church. The number of volunteers compared to last year has doubled. They attended 16 workshops where they learned how to translate and practiced dances. More than anything else, these volunteers received salvation through the words they heard each day. Here are some of their stories.
I had my own standards. I thought that with money I could fit everything within them: a job, family, friends, a place to live. I was a school teacher and my ability to speak English, German, Spanish, and French Creole made me arrogant.
One day, I happened to meet my friend in Delmas. There, short-term missionaries from IYF told me they were recruiting volunteers and explained English Camp to me. I applied as a volunteer because I thought I’d be a good IYF translator and I was excited to meet new friends at the camp.
After I met IYF, I went to church to listen to the word. I realized the true Gospel and received salvation. I harbored many thoughts and there were times that I went astray because of them. However, through the Gospel, I realized I couldn’t do anything, as well as how to throw away my thoughts and break my heart. Nothing comes from me, but from the word of God and He is alive in me. I know now about my flesh and the heart that Jesus has given me. The Word of God is just like food and air. We cannot live without it. The Word is my life.
I met the church two months ago through IYF English Camp Volunteer recruitment. I knew about God, but not the true Gospel. I became righteous through the Gospel I heard at the Haiti Church. I am very happy I can do the work of God and I want to do whatever pleases God. I am not here to volunteer just for today. IYF is my life.
After I acknowledged there was nothing that I can do well, I asked pastor about words I couldn’t understand as I translated. Even though I made some mistakes, I had freedom in my heart after realizing how useless I was. It was my first time seeing myself in such a way. At the IYF English Camp, not only did I learn English, but also how to break my heart, pour my heart into what I’m doing, and how to volunteer for others. Many people only live for themselves, especially Haitians. When asked to move something heavy, they about their clothes. IYF changed me, as well as changed the hearts of other volunteers. I hope the Gospel covers Haiti. I want to be a minister who preaches the word of God.
IYF visited my school last year. I didn’t know about the Righteous Stars dance group, but I applied as a dance volunteer because it seemed fun. I went to church after English Camp was over and learned how to break my heart through the Bible. And I learned the true love of God. That’s how I received salvation. I wanted to attend the English Camp this year, too. I was very curious about the heart of God after I received salvation and what it means to feel the love of God. However, my mom was against me attending the camp. At that time, I prayed to God. I had faith that I could participate if God works. That’s how I’m able to be here now, dancing the Righteous Stars dances.
I received salvation at the Bible Seminar last January. Then, I volunteered at the English camp in June that same year. I still remember what other students told me about my dancing, “How does she smile like that?” However, I saw other volunteers smiling just the same as I did before and I am here again at this camp as a dance volunteer. I heard about the story of ‘a man who fell among thieves’ during the workshop. A certain man went down from Jerusalem and fell among thieves on the way. He couldn’t do anything. At that time, he was saved by a certain Samaritan.
I prayed to God and asked Him for the heart to accept the students at the camp. It was because there were students who didn’t listen and whenever I saw them, I felt very frustrated and couldn’t accept them in my heart. Therefore, just as the man who fell among thieves received grace from the Samaritan, I asked God for the heart to accept others at this camp. I believe that God will bestow grace upon me.
One day, I met a person on the street who introduced me to IYF. I heard the word from church and went to a Bible Seminar. I received salvation at the seminar and decided to volunteer at the English Camp. I actually have exams this week but I came to English Camp anyway. This camp is very important to me because it shows me that we are all one in God.
I participated as a dance volunteer last year but I was suddenly assigned to guard our generator for the whole camp behind the school instead of dancing. At that time, I didn’t know why I had to do that. After the camp, I received salvation as I went to church and attended the World Camp. I was very happy and thankful that I will go to heaven instead of the hell fire after I die. Moreover, I learned that I have to have the same heart as Jesus if I want to be a volunteer. Last year, I thought I was a good dancer but when I look back on it, I didn’t have the heart to volunteer for others. However, God changed my heart. He gave me the heart to dance for the Gospel and I was able to rejoin the dance team this year.
One of the students told me, “You are not a Haitian!” This was because Haitians don’t dance in hot weather for others. My heart was the same as that student before, but through the grace of God, I now dance for the students and for Haiti.