Woodmont Christian Church Children’s Minister Trey Flowers was in Port-au-Prince, Haiti before, during and after the earthquake that devastated the island nation on Jan. 12. This morning he shared his experiences and his perspective with students gathered in Neely Dining Hall as part of the Spiritual Development Speaker Series.
Flowers and seven other Woodmont members were part of a mission team that was working in orphanages and schools prior to the earthquake, and he emphasized the extreme poverty and need present in Haiti before this latest disaster. He recounted how one orphanage visited by he and his team consisted of only three small rooms but housed 40 children and possessed only one-third of a bag of grits to feed the entire group. “The people of Haiti are strong, resilient and compassionate,” he said, but he is haunted by the knowledge that now, “Every one of those children we met are either trapped in the rubble or are living out in the street… Even when the news coverage ends, the need will not.”
In addition to his work at Woodmont Christian, Flowers is a student at Vanderbilt University, where he is pursuing a Master in Divinity concurrently with a Master in Public Policy. Flowers commented that, due to the nature of his work and his education, he thinks about God all the time. Yet it was through the people in Haiti that he began to see what it means to have faith in the middle of a crisis.
“The night after [the earthquake] was so scary. During the aftershocks you could literally hear two million people screaming at once. But then every single time, after the aftershock ended, we would also hear them singing, singing songs to God.”