Despite danger, PBA students travel to Haiti

By Juan Carlos Fanjul - bio | email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Palm Beach Atlantic University Junior Matt Johnson and his fellow students are willing to lay it all on the line for Haiti.

"Honestly, if it were God's will for my life to go there and die, then that's God's will, and I'm okay with that," said Johnson.

The 20-year-old is part of a group of 12 students and one faculty advisor headed to the earthquake ravaged country Friday.

Instead of packing for Spring Break, Junior Amanda Ulik is packing supplies and food items for the group. 52 cans of Pringles and Peanut Butter and Jelly will be their sustenance for a week.

For her, this mission is a calling.

"Haiti is a love of mine. After going there I left my heart in Haiti. Especially after the earthquake I was just devastated for Haiti," said Ulik.

The students and the university are not deterred after 4 Lynn University students and 2 faculty members died during the 7 magnitude quake doing what they are about to do.

University of Florida and other colleges have since forbidden their students to go on missions to Haiti saying it's too dangerous.

"If at any time we didn't feel it was safe, we wouldn't send them and to be honest Mission Of Hope wouldn't ask us to come," said Christian Dzadek, coordinator of student missions at Palm Beach Atlantic.

Mission Of Hope is the humanitarian group who the group will be staying with while visiting orphanages, rebuilding homes and ministering.

Despite the peril that lays ahead, they feel protected and directed by a higher power.

"If I can help out especially after this tragedy, I just want to show some type of love back to Haiti," said Jean Jimmymeant, a freshman at PBAU.

"Whatever happens is in God's will, and I'm excited to see what that is," added Ulik.

The students take off Friday and return next weekend. They will be staying at an orphanage just north of Port-Au-Prince and return next weekend.

There are a total of nine spring mission trips planned including to countries such as Brazil and Bolivia.