A Second Chance

Second Chance: “an opportunity to try something again after failing one time.”

He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; The Lord is gracious and full of compassion. Psalms 111:4

A second chance. We all need it. I have learned a lot about second chances throughout my 20 years of being on this earth. Sure, I have messed up way more times than I can count, but Jesus gives me so many “second chances.” He lavishes me with grace, and calls me beloved. What a beautiful exchange.

I first got involved with Second Chance Haiti in 2015 when I felt God calling me to go back to Haiti for a second time. I love mission work, and I knew about the child sponsorship program that Second Chance Haiti offered. At the time, I was a lifeguard and didn’t make very much money, but I trusted that God would provide the finances and show me on the trip which child to sponsor.

I remember riding in the van on the way to the orphanage, and I was ecstatic. I just knew that God was going to put the child in front of me that I needed to sponsor. We got out of the van, and were instantly surrounded by roughly 70 precious, Haitian kiddos. I cannot explain the joy that filled my heart. I remember seeing this sweet, little boy who held my hand and just wouldn’t let go. His personality would (And still does!) fill up an entire room. I found out that his name was Samuel. We became attached the moment I stepped out of the van. I knew that I had to sponsor him. He might speak a different language than I do, but love is universal. Sure, many times I don’t understand a word he is saying, but then he will do something crazy that makes everyone in the room laugh. Fun fact about Samuel: He LOVES to eat(Check out the picture below), and he will say whatever you tell him in English even though he has no idea what it means. One of his favorites is, “10-4 good buddy.” Oh, how this sweet, crazy boy has my whole heart.

Fast forward to now and I sponsor him and 2 other sweet boys. Samuel, Bradley, and Phillipo. Oh, how I wish I was holding all three of them right now. So, I am sure the question that is running through your head is, “Why? Why in the world do you sponsor not just one, but three Haitian children?”
My answer is simple. I went to Haiti and my whole world was changed. Haiti changed me, and my heart is forever there. I know that this sounds like a cliche answer, but let me try to find the words to describe what I mean.
I have been to Haiti roughly 7 times, and one of those being for an entire month this past November. When we pull into the orphanage, I see all of their sweet faces brighten. They are grinning from ear to ear. When I step out into the sweltering hot sun, and I put my feet on the Haitian dirt.. I hear so many voices yelling with excitement.. “D’Anna! D’Anna! D’Anna!These kids know my name. They genuinely want to know more about me. They know me on a personal level, not just as some American that they see in passing from time to time. I have a relationship with all of the kids there. I have done something to make a positive influence on each of their lives, so they rememeber me. THAT is why I sponsor three kids, THAT is why I will continue to visit Haiti, and THAT is why I see myself being a full-time missionary in the near future. There are many days while in the States that I miss my boys. Not just my three, but Haiti as a whole. The food, riding on top of the vans, sleeping outside with some of my kids lying next to me, riding on a moto, winning more sweet, Haitian souls for Jesus… I could go on and on. I get teary-eyed, and just wish I was there. I wish I was home. But can I tell you something? I know that Jesus is protecting  and loving on all of the kids, mommies, translators, etc. while I am not there. This is what puts me at ease. Knowing that I serve a God who is going to call me to go, but also protect and love on them while I’m not there.
When the days are hard, and I receive a letter in the mail from Second Chance Haiti, I rip the letter open as quick as possible and read what is inside. It usually contains a picture or a drawing from one of my three kids, and it makes my entire week. I take a few moments an reminisce on my favorite place in the world.

I believe the nation of Haiti, along with other third-world countries, has a way of bringing diverse cultures together by praising the same God. It changes you, shapes you into a disciple, it breaks your heart a few times, and it makes you want to go and share the word of God back in your hometown. As I look back on the trips I have been on, I am truly thankful for the many experiences. Mission work has changed my life for the absolute better. The nation of Haiti will forever hold the largest piece of my heart, and I cannot wait to travel back in the near future. I cannot wait to be down there long-term. If you get the chance to come on a trip, take it.
Take every opportunity you get, because it is an indescribable experience. Haiti will change your life, I promise. It changed mine. Haiti, thank you. You are good for my heart and soul.

Lastly, I urge you to prayerfully consider sponsoring a child. Being able to pray for your child and receive letters in the mail with a sweet picture or drawing from your child will bring you so much joy. I urge you to prayerfully consider going to visit your child. I know that this is a HUGE step for so many of you reading this. It’s scary. Us Americans, like being comfortable. We like routine. But, being able to meet your sponsored child is something that I cannot put into words. I have been on many trips with people meeting their child for the first time, and it even gets me emotional. Your child wants to know about you, and being able to meet you child will mean the absolute world for them. To simply give them a “second chance.” To see the kids and the sponsor’s face light up and fill with tears is something that I cannot put into words. Seeing Samuel’s, Bradley’s, and Phillipo’s face light up when I see them.. Oh gosh, there is no greater feeling in the world. I urge you to prayerfully consider sponsoring and going on a trip. We are called to GO(Mark 16:15). I want to show you where mine, and so many other peoples’ hearts are at. Jesus is at work within myself, Second Chance Haiti, and the country of Haiti as a whole. Come join us and see all that God has in store for YOUR life. That might be sponsoring a child, going a trip.. Or maybe, even both! I want you to know that you are being showered with prayers at this very moment.

 

“You have called me higher, You have called me deeper and I will go where you lead me Lord.”

For more information on child sponsorship or going on a trip, visit http://www.secondchancehaiti.org

D'Anna Johnson

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