Marian High School students Nora Lynch and Bailey Burkart are typical American teenagers who had a very unusual Easter vacation. They spent their school break
travelling more than 1,700 miles to Port au Prince, Haiti with the intention of helping to improve the lives of people in need.
Lynch, a Sophomore, and Burkart, a Freshman, were part of a group of teenagers that worked for one week at the Mission of Hope in Haiti. The mission’s purpose is to provide sustainability to the Haitian people. The girls did a variety of work for the Haitians, including light construction and painting new homes. They visited orphanages both on and off the Mission of Hope. The students also prayed with people in different villages, sharing their faith with the Haitian people.
The missionary work required long hours, doing difficult projects in extremely hot and humid conditions. One of Lynch’s assignments was to repair houses in a deaf
community. Her team spent a day there, painting houses for those who did not have the means or the ability to do the work themselves. Lynch said that she felt rewarded for all of her hard work by the immense gratitude of the people they helped.
Lynch was most touched by the children she met in Haiti. The children flocked to her and her American friends, begging to be held. They loved singing Justin Beiber
songs and having their pictures taken by the American students. The hardest part of their trip was leaving the children. Both Lynch and Burkart plan to return to The Mission of Hope next year for Easter vacation.
“This trip definitely brought me closer to God. When I prayed, it was mostly me asking for things. But the Haitian people, who had next to nothing, would only give thanks and gratitude to God. I learned so much from them, and I strive to be the type of person they are; humble, caring, and living the way God intends,” Lynch reflected. The trip to Haiti had a profound impact on both Lynch and Burkart, changing their perspective on life and the world.
Located in Bloomfield Hills, Marian is a Catholic college preparatory school for young women sponsored by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The mission of Marian High School is to ensure, within a Christian environment, an excellent education built on a
strong academic curriculum, which will enable young women to value human diversity and live responsible lives of leadership and action based on gospel