Haiti: The Language Barrier (Mitch Figueras)

I don’t consider myself a nervous person, but even when I first heard about us doing a mission trip for 24-7 I was nervous about the Language Barrier.

Honestly, that is what I struggled with the most in Haiti the first few days. I find comfort in expressing myself, but what good is a poem or short story if its in a different language? I looked into the eyes of children orphaned since birth, children who had nothing, children Micah’s age…

and I couldn’t say a word.

This is where I found true frustration.


Language is something I struggled with my entire life. Being Half-Cuban and Half-Colombian growing up without being able to speak to my own grandparents and really express my feelings of love towards them always brought me to a place of anguish. And I was back to that disappointment in myself, this time in Haiti.

Then Sunday service came, and after choosing to sit in on the children’s church I found myself just doodling in my notebook. The kids were off playing games about who knows what while I was off in my own little world.

Thats when one kid just sat next to me. Staring. It wasn’t nearly as creepy after drawing next to him for a while. Then I offered him to draw with me (I was prepared with an extra pen, kind of a first for me).Soon, more kids were gathering by the drawings as I was speaking very broken Creole slowly and LOUDLY.

My Method: Learning animal names by
1. Drawing the animal
2. Making the animal sound obnoxiously loud
3. Followed by children laughing
4. They telling me the name of the animal
5. Rinse and Repeat

This blog entry is not about just Language.

God made a way for me to communicate LOVE. Despite language, cultural (and so many other) differences God makes a way. I just had to be faithful with what I had. Did I know that my notebook and doodles would be a catalyst for something bigger?

What things, talents, abilities and gifts has God put in your life that don’t seem like much? What purpose do those things have?
Only God knows

We just have to be faithful despite the barriers, whatever they might be.

Because in the end the LOVE of Jesus always makes a way.