Hello all! I am so glad you were able to navigate your way to my blog!
My name is April Komasinski. I was born and raised in Blair, Nebraska home of the Blair Bears! I grew up in Country Bible Church where I loved participating in Sunday school, youth groups at grandpa’s farm, ski retreats to Colorado and teaching Sunday school to the 4-5 pre-k’s. When I graduated high school I moved to Springfield, Missouri to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice from Evangel University. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in May of 2010. Later that month I had the opportunity to travel to Haiti with a group from Omaha Rapid Response led by my sister and brother-in-law. I have typically disliked the phrase “life-changing” because it is overused in our society, but to say anything less of this trip would be selling it short. I blogged daily while I was in Haiti and have been blogging ever since. In reading some older posts you can take the journey with me on those 10 short days I spent there and the heartbreak I experienced when I came back. It changed my whole outlook on my life and future.
When I returned to America, I tried to get back into normal life here. I began my masters degree at UCMO and began a career in federal law enforcement. From the outside, I had everything figured out. Inside however, I was in turmoil. My heart was left in Haiti and trying to do life in America was like eating food without flavoring. Tasteless.
I use to have the belief that I was meant the minister “where I was at,” a phrase I had heard repeated throughout my life. I figured I was going to earn a lot of money and be able to fund to missions trips. Never before had I desired to minister somewhere else, somewhere beyond my comfort zone, beyond America, beyond 2 weeks. But those sweaty hands and smiling faces of the children I met in Jubilee changed everything.
I recently made the decision to throw caution to the wind and embracing the sail of putting feet to my faith and loving in action. I put in my papers and moved down to Gonaives to begin a new career as a teacher for young kiddos. It has been a wild ride thus far, but I can honestly say it has been the best decision of my life. My heart is for Haiti and now my life is too.
Haiti has been in the news often since a devastating earthquake ravished its main city of Port Au Prince. But just a few hours north of that city is a town in even more desperate situation. Gonaives is labeled at one of the top 5 poorest cities in the world and known as the “dump” in Haiti. Jubilee, a subsection of Gonaives in Haiti, is the poorest section of Gonaives, the ghetto. People in Jubilee live in mud homes, eat dirt cookies when the stomach pains get too hard to bear and drink contaminated water. Hurricanes have hit Gonaives every year for the past 5 years washing away the mud homes and any precious possessions the Haitians had. The only thing the hurricanes left behind was salt, enough to pollute the ground to the point that nothing will grow in their soil.
This is the Jubilee Emory and Mary was introduced to when they decided to move to Haiti. Learned helpless was an epidemic of catastrophic proportions. With God’s help, willing hands and a lot of hard work things have begun turning around for these people. Emory and Mary, while working with the community, have built a school which has seven classrooms, seven teachers and currently teaches nearly 100 children a day. A community clean-up project was put in place and the waste was turned into a compost pile to reconstitute the soil. Fruit trees and plants have been planted. Outhouses have been raised and even a hand washing station. 2 wells have been dug and are currently in use to build cement houses or lay cement floors as well as provide fresh clean water to the people. Three full-time American trained nurse lives here and have a clinic where people can get free medical treatment for most ailments. A feeding program was instituted and recently has been expanded to include over 300 children every day. A life-saving mamba program has aided over 100 starving children that were on the verge of death.
Things are looking up, but there is work left to do. Jubilee, as with every heart of every believer, is a work in progress.