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Friday, May 6, 2016

Clark finishes Haiti internship

Thursday, December 6, 2012

(Photo)
Justin Clark, Brazil resident, holds his unoffically adopted son Sandley, who passed away in October. Clark recently returned from a 5-month internship in Haiti. He plans to be a full-time missionary in Haiti beginning in January.
Brazil resident Justin Clark recently came back from an estimated 5-month internship in Haiti.

Clark is back in the United States until January, when he will go back to Haiti full-time for a permanent missionary position.

"I'll be there until God tells me to go somewhere else," Clark said.

Clark went to St. Louis PuNorde, to help with maintenance at the Northwest Haiti Christian Mission, an Independent Christian Church ministry and development organization committed to the people of the Northwest region of Haiti and dedicated to establishing and partnering with indigenous churches.

Clark's job was to keep water running, the generators up and the electricity on. While there, Clark was able to help get water purification systems to a couple of campuses including his own.

"Basically, my ministry down there is to keep everything running so the other missionaries can focus on the kids and elderly and what God has called them to do," Clark told The Brazil Times.

A big part of Clark's time in Haiti was spent at a special needs orphanage. While there, Clark met a 2-year-old boy named Sandley who had many health issues and was malnourished. Clark began feeding him around the clock.

"I took over feeding him every two hours," Clark said. "I kind of adopted him as my own. It's strange because I have always had a strange, irrational fear of small children. Now please don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't like or love them, but small kids have always just caused me to panic, and I'm not really sure why."

While at the orphanage one day, a missionary walked in carrying Sandley, who Clark described as "the smallest, most awkward, little child I had ever seen." Sandley's back was arched into a painful backwards C-shape. He was so thin his bones could be seen through his skin. He had bulging arm muscles and his fists were clenched.

Clark quickly fell in love with the small child, calling him his son and learning to feed, burp and even change his diapers.

"Sandley was very much my lifeline in Haiti," Clark said. "No matter how hard a day I had, no matter how frustrated, how hot, how tired, how down I was, a little time with Sandley made things better, helped me to get my focus back on the things in life that matter."

At the end of October, Sandley passed away. Not having Sandley to take care of has been one of the hardest parts for Clark.

"I know he's healthy and running around in Heaven now," Clark said. "He's in a much better place, but it's sill heartbreaking for me."

For Clark, Sandley gave him the great gift of getting to know the other 60 children in the orphanage.

"I have spent a lot of time with the rest of the kids in the Miriam Center (orphanage) and have come to love all of them," Clark said. "I have grown from being afraid and nervous to caring and loving them more than I could have believed possible."

Clark said living in Haiti is difficult due to the heat, water conditions and lack of food.

"The water, if you can find it, has stuff in it that will get you sick," he explained. "Food is scarce. It's really hard for any kind of life down there."

Clark missed his friends and family, as well as hardware stores.

"I miss just being able to go to the hardware store and pick something up for whatever you need to fix," he said. "(In Haiti) you have to ride on the back of a tap-tap or a little motor scooter and take a 6-hour trip. It's very difficult to do anything over there."

Even with the difficult conditions, Clark said he is amazed by the Haitians' spirits and praise for God.

Clark said the presence of voodoo and evil is apparent in parts of Haiti, and he thinks it is sad to think of the people who are scared because of those things.

"You see people who live their entire lives in fear," he said. "It makes you want to work that much harder."

In January, Clark will be a full-time, support-based missionary. He said it is difficult to be support-based because he doesn't like asking people for money.

"After studying the Bible, I realized I'm not asking people to give me money, I'm asking them to support the Kingdom of God, to help me spread Christ's message to those that are lost."

To financially support Clark, visit www.nwhcm.org, and click the "Give" tab at the top of the page. On the left, click the tab, "Missionary Support," and choose Clark's name, or a check may be sent to Northwest Haiti Christian Mission, 7271 Mayflower Park, Zionsville, Ind., 46077. The check should be made out to NWHCM with Clark's name in the memo line.

Clark knows he has been called to Haiti for a reason and is looking forward to starting his full-time ministry there.

"I'm sure God has me there for a reason," he said. "Just the things He's done in my life already through Sandley and some of my experiences, I've been broken down a lot but I've continually been built back up into a better servant, Christian and hopefully a better man."

To read about Clark's journey and mission work, visit his blog at www.onthefieldinhaiti.blogspot.com.



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