by Kelly Johnston
We’re sitting with William Howard in the Lakeland lobby. William is a familiar face at Lakeland with his service to the Kiosk team. But those aren’t the only ways William has stayed involved.
Almost every year, a team from Lakeland partners with others from around the country and travels to Haiti. This trip, managed by the Global Orphan Project (https://goproject.org/), is often a life-changing experience.
When asked about his time in Haiti, William eyes widen briefly and he sits back. “It was something,” he finally says. “A year or two before, I was a rule follower and during one of the financial challenge here, they asked the congregation to ‘Give, Gather and Go.’” I had done mission trips in high school and the Haiti thing came up. I love tropical weather so I decided to go. I talked with Jamie Davis and she told me you loved on the kids and spent time with them. That didn’t sound like me so I didn’t go that time.”
A year passed and the Haiti trip was once again shared with the congregation. “When it came around the next year I felt something tugging at me and I signed up to go.” He pauses. “It was surreal. It opened your eyes to see the people of Haiti down there so happy but with nothing.”
“Coming back our flight got cancelled, we missed our connecting flight due to an electric outage in Haiti, stayed the night in Chicago and when we got back to Miami a bunch of the group members broke down. I was grateful because we were back on American soil.”
William will share more on his journey to Haiti next week in his final My Story post.
ABOUT MY STORIESEvery month Pastor Marta Gillilan and members of the Lakeland Social Media Team interview an individual, couple or family. From struggles in faith to joyful events, Lakelanders are sharing their stories through the “Humans of Lakeland” blog series. Get to know the people who call Lakeland home.