Meet Dillian Smith, 20. The Kentucky lad touching one Haitian life at a time through his missionary trips and the gospel..
It’s quite fascinating seeing someone your age doing what you do, Thanks for agreeing to have this interview with Daily News Services. I’d love to start off this interview by asking, where are you from and how old you are?
Thank you for having me. I am 20 years old and I am from Sturgis, Kentucky. It’s a really small town(He laughs). I am currently enrolled in Henderson community college and I am almost through with my associates degree.
So what exactly inspired your first trip to Haiti?
I have been on four trips already, as I started going to Haiti whilst still in high school. It actually started after the horrendous earthquake. I remember when it happened and seeing everyone at school have these ”Help for Haiti” bracelets and I just had this calling this is where I need to go. So we will jump this story two years later and I still had this calling to go but didn’t have the opportunities to make it happen.
So what was the game changer for you?
That year, it just so happened a church camp I go to just partnered with a camp in Haiti and was allowing people to come for the short term missions of a week. We did not have a youth minister during that time and we just didn’t have the funds to make the trip happened. One year later we had new youth minister who I originally voted no for (He laughs). But he wanted to go to Haiti as well, so the trip finally happened and I have been going every year ever since.
What was your first experience in Haiti like and what stood out the most to you when you got there?
It was a culture shock for sure. it was totally different from what I was used to in the United states. It was my first time flying and first time leaving the country. i was prepared but not prepared if that makes sense. i still remember getting off the plane and the heat hit me instantly. Once we got out of the airport, it was the smell that stood out to me. It’s a distinctive smell of fire and smoke. It’s one I’ll never forget. My first experience was great I must say, i experienced things which were unfamiliar and I was able to get out of my comfort zone.
Being that you have been to Haiti a lot. Did you pick up some of the local dialect?
I have learned some, but I really do want to get very fluent in it. I always suggest people to go to a ”Third world country” at least once. It’s an unforgettable experience and it makes you appreciate every little thing you have.
Did you get to try out some of the local delicacies?
I have tried several Haitian delicacies, I like some and some I do not. I tried goat meat for the first time there and it turned out great.
What reactions did you get when you first disclosed to your friends and family that you were going to Haiti?
A lot of my family and friends were really nervous about it initially but the supported me. They understood it was something I really wanted to do and it was something God was calling me to do.
You are well versed with the scriptures, when did your yearning for it start?
When I first became a Christian, I had a hard time reading my Bible. I was pretty young back then, but through the years my reading has increased greatly and this year i decided to take the bible in a year challenge and I haven’t missed a day yet.
What is your mission on your next trip to Haiti and what ways can people donate to your trip?
My next Haiti mission trip is actually fully funded and some of the funds raised would help pay for some Haitian children to attend vacation bible school.