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Leela, an i195 term 2 student, participated in an Impact International Trip to Haiti this past August. Here, she shares her life-transforming story. Haiti completely changed my life. One of my favorite parts was spending time with the kids at a place the locals call "The Point." The kids are just so filled with life, love, happiness and joy! One of our Rock Ambassadors hosts a feeding every Tuesday with a few of the locals. We had the chance to help and be a part of the action. There were so many kids, it was crazy! They were punching each other, pulling each other's hair, scratching, fighting.... all for a bowl rice and beans. It was absolutely heartbreaking. Moved to compassion, my mind started to race about all the ways I could raise funds, encourage people to give, and raise awareness about how so many of these precious children are dying of hunger. Most of the kids were so hungry, they were demanding and impatient. I noticed a girl, whose eyes where hard to miss, about 1 1/2 years old. She didn't smile and was extremely shy, as she stood waiting in the corner. She ran home and got her bowl, came back, sat down and waited quietly for her turn. Sadly, her turn never came. As the food ran out, I watched her sit expressionless. She wasn't mad, or sad...just quiet. I started digging through my backpack for a granola bar or something. I found nothing. A few minutes later, Gary walked up with a small pail of rice and beans. "She is one of the kids who always waits patiently," he said, pouring some rice and beans into her bowl. Then he handed her a pouch of water, and left to give another child the rest. She began eating with her finger. As she did, some of the other kids tried to steal her water and bowl. Disturbed by this, I pushed their hands away. This poor little one couldn't at all fend for herself. She looked up at me with a blank stare as I tried to protect her. I knelt down and kissed her feet. She didn't have any shoes, but her little feet were simply precious. She then took her tiny hands and scooped up some rice and tried to feed me. Oh my goodness, I thought. How incredibly humbling! This fragile, malnourished little girl probably only had a chance to eat a meal like that once a week. I wasn't the one who gave her the fact, I didn't give her anything. But still she tried to give me something that was so important to her. I fought back tears.

The LORD used that little orphan girl to speak so clearly to me. I can't do anything for Him. No matter how much I try, it doesn't matter; all of my good deeds are like dirty rags. Yet He still loves me so much that He gave His one and only Son for me to have a relationship with Him. I have nothing to offer Him, yet He blesses me, provides for me, loves me - every single day. He met me in the darkest moment of my life, not because of what I did but because of what He did. I also realized that God was asking me to be more patient. I'm always on the go, hurrying through life, staying busy, being a "go-getter." She patiently waited, even in spite of her hunger, and God provided for her. If she can, I, too, will wait patiently for God.

I am thankful that God allowed me to experience Him in such a transforming way.