We welcome Cailyn P. to our Friday Thankfulness feature, which wraps up ufcwomen.blog’s missions week. Cailyn grew up in the Sacramento area and played volleyball at Stetson University in Florida, where she studied accounting and finance. She moved to Eugene after college in 2016 to work at Moss Adams and got connected with UFC during this time. She served as a middle school leader and volunteered at Camp Agape.
In April 2018, Cailyn took a trip to Haiti with UFC and fell in love with the people. Her desire to live and work abroad has grown since going on various international mission trips over the past six years, leading her to move to Haiti in January 2019 to work as the mission team lead for Chances for Children
Political unrest and protesting in Haiti since 2018, and now the coronavirus pandemic, meant a lack of mission teams traveling to Haiti. Cailyn’s position has now changed to operations manager as she helps manage the organization’s 22 feeding programs across Haiti, works on sponsorship projects for kids in the creche (orphanage), helps lead a micro-lending program, and runs the social media page (follow on Instagram @c4c_haiti and on Facebook @Chances4Children). You can visit Cailyn’s blog here: caideinhaiti.home.blog.
I am incredibly thankful for my job and the ways living and working in Haiti has blessed my outlook on life. These are a few of the kids in our creche. I adore each of them! Times have been extremely challenging in Haiti. I had to evacuate February 2019 due to unrest in Haiti, but God opened a way for me to return and continue working there. I had to leave Haiti again in March after the arrival of COVID-19, but I am so thankful that I can do most of all my work from home and stay in communication with friends and staff in Haiti. I miss everyone there dearly, and so many days I wish I could be there with them. But I praise God for technology and the ability to work remotely. Please be praying for Haiti. The country has very limited doctors and medical equipment, and social distancing is especially challenging because most people rely on the daily selling of goods at the markets to provide for their families.
I am thankful for time spent with my family! I love living and working abroad, but I have cherished this time spent with my mom, brother, nephew, and a few close friends. We took this picture on Mother’s Day! I love having the time to try out new plant-based recipes to share with my family. My brother and I have also been doing a lot of house projects together because he got a new place. Our favorite addition is the chicken coop in the backyard with two chickens and more coming!
One of my favorite things to do is go for long hikes! My brother, friend, and I have explored more hiking trails in our area. There are amazing views of the American River and the Sierra Nevada mountains. We have also stumbled upon some beautiful waterfalls, creeks, meadows, and a really neat outdoor rock climbing area! I love being outdoors because it reminds me of the goodness of God and the beauty of His creation. It also provides space for deep conversations and prayer time.
I am thankful for more time to paint, another one of my favorite activities. I painted my favorite mountain picture in Haiti, a spot I used to hike up to often. I find painting very relaxing and a fun way to be creative and use a gifting God has given me.
This quarantine time would not be as enjoyable if it was not for constant conversations and Zoom calls with friends! I am incredibly thankful for the community God has blessed me with and this time to process the challenges, deeply root my faith, express joy and laughter, and to encourage each other.