“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” - Matthew 28:19
As I sat in my room in December of 2016 of my senior year, I had prayed that the Lord would show me how I could be a disciple of Him. His answer: Go to Haiti on Winterim. I never thought I would be able to go, but my mom pushed and encouraged me. I knew that this trip was going to change me. I was going into the unknown, yes, I was hesitant because I had never been out of the country, but God was pulling on my heart, and it felt as if I could feel His hands around me. I knew I was ready because I had the Lord on my side.
I knew that week was going to be special because I was surrounded by the most loving people, who knew nothing about me, wanted nothing from me, but to just be my friend.
The very first night of being in Haiti, a little boy who lived in the orphanage attached to the compound where we were staying, reached out and took my hand. His name was Job, and he was about 4 years old. He spoke no English, but picked me to be his friend. My heart became so full within seconds, and I could hear the Lord saying, “This is your time, share my love with these kids.” I knew that week was going to be special because I was surrounded by the most loving people, who knew nothing about me, wanted nothing from me, but to just be my friend.
What it Looks Like to Make Disciples
Our school mainly went and worked in a little town in the mountains, where we helped build two houses and played with kids in an orphanage. The first morning, a little girl named Rashada slipped her hand into mine and smiled at me. I immediately picked her up. She swung her hands around my neck and kissed me on the cheek. She was only 5. I sat with her for most of the day, because she was afraid that if I left, I would not come back. I realized that many times, we as Christians fear that the Lord may leave us. But He continues to tell us that He will never leave, so I told the little girl about Jesus, and told her that He will never leave her. All she understood was the name Jesus. And to me, that was the most important word that I had spoken that day. My very last day in Haiti was my hardest. I knew that it was time to leave, and the kids knew as well. A ten-year-old girl named Yolanda grabbed my hand as we were getting ready to load the buses. She looked at me and said, “Can you take me home with you?” I could feel the tears swell up into my eyes. I looked up into the bright blue sky and wanted to yell at the Lord. How was I supposed to tell a young girl who has heard the word no everyday of her life, no? She started to cry, but I told her that I would be back soon, and she smiled at me and said “Mwen Remen Ou!” Which is Creole for “I love you!” I looked at her and said, “Yolanda, I love you, but there is someone who loves you more than me, and won’t ever leave you. His name is Jesus.” She smiled and said, “Jesus? You know Him too?” With that, I hugged her, and turned toward the bus with tears coming down my face. At that moment, I heard the Lord say to me, “This is how you make disciples, Laney.” I came home, and my whole world changed. I knew that this was my calling. I needed to go and be in Haiti for as long as I could. I felt different, more aware. I was more considerate of others, and shared the Lord more with others. But He kept telling me that I was only just starting my journey of making disciples.
My Journey Continues
Now, as a freshman at Belmont, I have decided to be an education major, allowing me to move to Haiti after I finish school, and teach in orphanages there, and share the joy and mercy of the Lord to little kids and parents, who can then go and do the same. Someone asked me if I was scared or nervous about moving and living in Haiti. I looked at them and said, “Haiti is where the Lord wants me to be. Haiti is my home. So, if the Lord is calling me there, why should I be nervous? He will be with me every single step of the way, watching me talk more about Him.” I know He is looking down on me, smiling and saying, “This is how you make disciples.”