Rachel Cokeley, a vet student from Mississippi State,was given the opportunity to serve on her first mission trip with CVM. Rachel and her team spent a week working alongside Dr. Kelly Crowdis where they set up rural veterinary clinics and traveled to a different community each day. They addressed the veterinary needs of the community including (but not limited to) vaccinations, wound care, and spays/neuters. In Rachel’s words, they were the hands and feet for Dr. Kelly in her mission to maintain relationships with people.
Rachel was kind enough to answer a few questions for me.
Q: Please share how this trip impacted your spiritual walk.
Rachel: I can’t put into words how this trip impacted my life and my walk with Christ. While the veterinary experience was great and it was wonderful to provide veterinary care to rural communities, I think I was the one receiving the most benefit. These people who barely had shoes on their feet and clothes on their back were willing to feed me, and give me a place to stay. Their love and hospitality was overwhelming; they had next to nothing and were willing to give me everything. They taught me how to love people, and I couldn’t be more thankful for my experience in Haiti.
Q: What were the most encouraging/challenging aspects of your trip?
Rachel: Most encouraging: That love knows no bounds. We serve the same God, go to sleep under the same stars, and have the same needs. The faith, hope, and love that the Haitian people shared with me was overwhelming. Most Challenging: the culture shock.
Q: Please share a story of an experience from your trip of something that impacted you or that you learned.
Rachel: It is difficult to select just one! At the end of the day when we were finished with the clinic, we had time to spend with the people in the community. Though there was not much dialog, I simply enjoyed spending time with the children. They were so open to play and spend time together.
Q: Do you think you will go on another short-term mission trip?
Rachel: Yes! ABSOLUTELY. It is important to be reminded of the important things in life, how fortunate I am, and how to live selflessly.
Q: Would you recommend going on this trip?
Rachel: Yes! Especially as veterinary students, it is so easy to be consumed by school. Life extends beyond the confines of the veterinary school where people are concerned about real-life problems. It is important to keep a perspective on life, that the majority of the world wonders when their next meal will be, and not about the next test. As Christians, it is our job to simply love people. Veterinary school is the perfect environment to practice this commandment, and remind people of our abundant blessings amidst the stress and anxiety that often consumes veterinary students. I could talk about my time in Haiti for a very long time, but I want others to experience what I experienced on my short-term trip.
A special thank you to Rachel Cokeley for allowing us to share in a little piece of her journey to Haiti! May the Lord continue to use this experience to touch the lives of others.
Not able to participate in a short-term trip but have a heart for what God is doing through them? Support CVM’s short-term missions by giving to our short-term missions program!