Skating Uphill - June 2023

Living a Healthy Lifestyle


“Life is full of so many types of adventure!”
– The Uphill Skater –

Adventure takes many different forms, and sometimes, one’s big adventure can have totally unforeseen results. I can honestly say I had an adventure that changed the way I lived, thought, and played out my Christian faith.

I was a member of First Presbyterian Church on Hilton Head Island for nearly 14 years and had the honor to serve as both an elder and deacon. I loved this church, and I also loved the many ways it played out service and faith. There were opportunities for everyone, including Bible studies, service, inter-faith committees and so much more. I am sure many churches play roles like this in people’s lives, and I don’t mean to single out this church, but it was the source of my adventure and part of my continuing story. 

We, like probably all churches, had a missions committee, and one of its members had been called to serve in Haiti. He spoke in church one day, and I listened with an open heart and mind, but never thought of being a part of such a thing. In fact, I am ashamed to say, I was thinking of sending them a check. 

As I stood to leave that service, I knew I was meant to go to Haiti. I have no idea how many of you have ever felt called to do something, but I heard it loud and clear. I shocked myself by calling the team leader that day to sign up. (I don’t even like to camp very far from a nice hotel, if you know what I mean.) 

The Haiti team, of which I was now a member, met frequently to talk about goals, conditions, and what we may or may not be called upon to do. Being a former resource specialist working with special needs children, I was put on the education team. We were meant to go into schools and teach using various demonstration lessons. The team was made up of doctors, teachers, nurses, and others who felt they had a part to play. With training done, we were off to Haiti.

Our first day there, we headed off in an old, rickety pickup truck comprised of so many parts glued together it was impossible to tell the original make. If the “tap tap” (the Haitian name for trucks) was awful, the roads were worse. We drove for miles, viewing the horrific conditions along the way. I had never seen such poverty in my life.

The purpose of this adventure story is not to express how bad it was, but to share how good it was. I was there with people who were part of a group formed by a Haitian Presbyterian minister who was educated in the US and returned to his country with a plan. He founded numerous compounds all consisting of a clean water well, a school, a clinic, and a church. These places were like islands in the ocean—gifts from heaven! In fact, that is exactly what they were. 

I never taught the demonstration lessons. The school principal learned of my background, and I was immediately set up to evaluate “problem” students. I spent full days finding issues from poor eyesight to child abuse and almost everything in between. It was fantastic, and I will never forget it!

How did my great adventure play out? I now have an adopted child from Haiti named Nayou. She is 6 years old, and I have had her for nearly two years. I have written her many letters, sent gifts, shared in prayer, and do what I can to be a part of her life. I have sent a goat and numerous chickens to her family. I realize I play a small role, but I can’t stress how much satisfaction this adventure and its after affects have given me. I recommend this to anyone who wants to feel like they are doing something good in this troubled world of ours. What an amazing adventure!

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Judith Lawrenson is a former Hilton Head Island resident who has a huge heart and is loved by all who meet her. She has served and volunteered with numerous charitable organizations while living in the Lowcontry making an impact wherever she went. She and her husband recently moved to the wild hills of West Virginia to be closer to grandchildren. Judith is an avid sailor, a retired reading resource specialist, and a children's TV host whose local show originated from the Boys and Girls' Club. Judith is also a long-time seeker of healthy, happy living and a lifestyle dedicated to service to others, balanced with love of God and love of self. Check out her blog for fun info, recipes and nutrition ideas, current updates on nearly everything in the world, and lots of comments and opinions.

Though I do tons of research, and have done so for many years, I am not a doctor and I share only my opinions. I enjoy research and subscribe to several magazines and publications and read up on all new trends. I hope you do, too!


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