Mission Trip to Haiti: Local girl spends birthday serving in Caribbean nation
By Kristian Hammond
On Feb. 16, 12-year-old Hope Kjar left for Haiti to spend her winter break serving others.
This was Hope’s first mission trip, and what made it exceptional was that Hope would be turning 13 while in Haiti.
Hope returned on Feb. 24, quite heartbroken at what she saw in the Caribbean nation, but also with a change of outlook from the amazing trip.
“I’ve always seen my mom go on her mission trips and I always wanted to go and be part of it,” Hope said. “I raised my own money for the trip. I went around our neighborhood and the neighborhoods of others around and for $5 anyone could crack an egg on my head. It was messy.”
“I started doing mission trips in college,” her mother said. “I’ve been on about 10 different trips, some to the same place, but I never thought Hope was ready until now. She and my husband came with me. It was the first family mission out of many to come.”
While in Haiti, Hope, her parents, and the program with which they went, Go International Gospel Outreach, visited three orphanages for children who lost their parents because of the 2010 earthquake.
“We basically gave the kids what love we could,” Hope explained. “We played with them and read them the gospel and did what we could to help. It was a great experience.”
“They didn’t have anything at all for the kids,” her mother added. “We brought them a traveling carnival, and they could ride some rides and win prizes. We also helped with the food drop since these orphanages basically depend on the missionaries and supplies that come in.”
Still, the most memorable thing for the family was that Hope so willingly spent her 13th birthday in Haiti helping others.
“I told her some kids would want a party and presents,” her mother explained. “But she didn’t care and wanted to go anyway. It was really a great way for her to come into her 10 years.”
“I would love to do it again,” Hope concluded. “It was a great experience and I love helping those that I could.”
Hope currently goes to Arnall Middle School and she and her family are residents of Newnan.