Haiti: “I will return”

Dr. Ines Espallargas from Barcelona, Spain, a general practitioner, spoke of her recent time in Haiti with the Christian aid group Manto de Guadalupe:

My greatest desire was to be able to doctor and heal, or at least relieve, the physical suffering or raise the morale of all the people I could treat. However, my friends insisted that in only a week I wasn’t going to be able to do much. Therefore, what was important wasn’t so much the physical help, but sharing joy and Christian hope and making the most of the experience to learn from them how to be more humble, thankful, generous…in short, to value what is truly important in my life: God and others.

The best gift of this trip has been receiving the thanks and love of the people I was attending to, even though in some cases I wasn’t able to help alleviate their physical need or sickness. I was only able to offer a smile, a hug or words of encouragement and with that they were happy.

The director of the orphanage (several hours outside Port au Prince), his family and the people that work there have taught me what it is to be happy and optimistic in spite of the difficulties. Some mothers of the children I attended mentioned to me that the worst thing for them was that some days they have nothing to give their children to eat. However, they don’t lose hope that God always provides, even though sometimes they need to fool their small stomachs with “mud pies.”

This has been one of the best experiences of my life and if God allows, I will return…

(All images Canon 5D2, 24-105mm)

Photos ©Copyright Gary S. Chapman 2010

Dr. Espallargas examines a very sick child.

A child waits her turn to see the doctor.

Dr. Espallargas speaks to families about health care.

After examination, this woman was sent to a hospital for further tests.

Dr. Espallargas spends time in prayer before starting another day.

"I was only able to offer a smile, a hug or words of encouragement and with that they were happy"

A young girl leads Dr. Espallargas by the hand to see the home the aid group is building for her and her eight brothers and sisters.

23 thoughts

  1. Gary: thank you so much for your work in Haiti; in the photos you show more than I could say with words…there’s something special in the look of the children and people who we met there,…and you have been able to show it, that’s really wonderful!! It has been a pleasure for me…and I hope we can work together again!!

  2. Gary: you captured the beautiful heart of Ines and the kids in the photos, we can experience again that fabulous mission trip and feel the joy, the suffering and God´s presence in each person. Your photos transmit their souls at the exact moment they were taken. Those looks, smiles and actions are irrepleaceble. Thank you for being there!, thank your for use that great talent and give us something to remember always!. God Bless u!

  3. Beautiful, poignant photographs, Gary. Coincidentally, I finished reading Mountains Beyond Mountains last night. Stunning to imagine this kind of heartache layered on top of the poverty that already existed.

  4. Very beautiful! The photos speak all by themselves. Thank you for documenting and allowing others to see the beauty of the Haitian people and of Dr. Ines. Your pictures prove that love and kindness surpass all the material goods our world offers us.

  5. Great storytelling images, Gary! The first one is my favorite…there’s a lot going on in that image…love the layers!

  6. I’ve been trying to do the same thing myself recently, so I guess that’s probably why I look for it more in other’s work as well. 🙂

  7. Hey Gary, some beautiful work here. The small image of the doctor listening to the belly of the pregnant woman is particularly moving. Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. Gary, just “found you” via your guest blog on Scott Kelbys site. What amazing images you capture !!! Thank you for your dedication to God’s people and i pray that Our Great God pours out His blessing to you and your family.

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