“If you were given $1 million, what would you do with it?”

“I would give $750,000 of the money to the Life Teen Haiti Mission Base.”

When I shared my answer to the rest of my youth group, most people were a little shocked and confused on why I would choose the Life Teen Haiti Mission Base instead of the more common answers like a car or a house. For me though, there is no other option because having the opportunity to give this little mission base any part of this imaginary money would make me the happiest person alive.

Haiti Stole My Heart

This little base in the middle of Haiti has stolen my heart. The first time I learned about this incredible mission was during my first time at the Life Teen Camp Hidden Lake. During this week they asked for us to make a donation and explained what this base was. My heart broke for the people of Haiti and what they endure. I began to look at everything that I had been given and I realized that I had not truly appreciated everything. Realizing how much joy these Haitians had, even though they physically had nothing, made consumed me with anger and sadness. I knew I needed to do something to help.

While at the life-changing and memorable Life Teen Camps, we are informed about the Mission Base in Haiti and asked to donate as much as we can. Now the first year I only had $66 with me but I soon realized that even this little contribution would be a part of the other donations and that would soon add up to enough money to help the base rebuild. That year I gave all the money I had with me and received a picture of a young woman, Sirline, who had been a part of the team at the base. Ever since that day, I have carried her picture around with me everywhere.

Choosing to Give Everything

After that first year at camp, I came home and made it my priority to raise at least double, and I had until that next summer when I would go back to Camp Hidden Lake. Every cent I earned, every opportunity to receive gifts, I only ever asked for money to donate to Haiti. This is still something I do today. Sharing this money and teaching myself the importance of selflessness has drawn me closer to God who is; real, selfless, loving, teachable, and perfect.

By giving everything I have, it meant that I had to make significant sacrifices in order to stick to my goal. Making these sacrifices taught me to do everything with gratitude and honor to God’s own will for myself. Over the last four years, I have been able to donate about $4,000 to the Life Teen Haiti Mission Base and more to individual missionaries because I believe in the work they do.

I have made this commitment to myself and to the Life Teen Haiti Mission Base because it continually teaches me the importance of leaving everything behind and picking up my cross whether I am ready for it or not. I was even asked to share my testimony on how Haiti has helped me grow in selflessness with my parish. With the goal of Haiti always in mind, everything I do is directed to the Lord himself, which is why Haiti has had such a strong impact on my life.

A Deeper Mission

This past summer I was finally given the opportunity to visit the Haiti Mission Base! I was beyond ecstatic to finally live out and serve where God is calling me to do His work. Three days before we were supposed to leave, our trip got canceled due to extreme violence that broke out around the capital where the airport is located.

My heart broke. It broke for Haiti, the base, and it broke for myself. After 5 hours in my parish’s adoration chapel of pure crying, frustration, anger, and sadness, I finally realized I had made this trip all about me and not about going to do God’s work. What a wakeup call this was! I know with certainty that I will be able to visit and serve where God is calling, in Haiti in God’s time, not my own.

With the help of the summer missionaries at camp, God was able to call me into a deeper mission through the work of Haiti. I have committed to support missionaries and Life Teen Missions with the little money I earn because it continually reminds me of the importance of serving God’s people. Even though I can do very little here in Arizona, spreading the word and knowledge about the struggles Haiti faces and the wonderful little Mission Base that gives these children hope and knowledge of their savior, has encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and follow the path God has willed for me.

Being able to share my experiences and stories about Life Teen in all of its glory, has not only changed my life but it has changed the people around me as well. Once these other teens realize the impact they can make even at a young age with the resources around them, hunger fills their hearts to long to be a part of something so special like Life Teen.

A Little Goes a Long Way

The next time you go out to eat on a day you can cook, or buy an unnecessary app, or go out to get your morning coffee, I encourage you to think about donating that little amount of money to Life Teen and all of their resources. It may seem like an insignificant amount of money, but as I learned by giving the small donation of $66 my first year, a little bit can go a long way.

Especially by helping to support Life Teen, you are giving teens the opportunity to encounter Christ in an inviting and remarkable way that will truly change their lives. I encourage y’all to continue to keep Life Teen, their missionaries, Haiti, and all the teens in your prayers and strive to make your ordinary day a little more extraordinary.

Always remember that even the smallest donation will be a part of the grand mission of leading teens closer to Christ. I will always be praying for each and every one of you and thank you for being willing to be a part of this organization that truly changes teens lives.

You can give today to our 2018 annual appeal by clicking here.

About the Author

Kate Seddon

Currently struggling through Junior Year of High School in Phoenix, AZ. If I’m not in adoration you will surely find me swimming my heart out at practice. My love for Chacos, dogs, smiling, youth group, and coffee is overwhelming. Give me a good book (preferably one by Fulton J. Sheen), some coffee, and mountains and I will be your best friend forever.

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