Dancing to her own beat
Many people in the Austin area may know Jillian Flink for her musical talents.
A 2007 graduate from Austin High School, Flink played percussion in band throughout her school career and for Austin Symphony Orchestra, Austin Community Band and Austin Alumni Band. She also took piano lessons for about 14 years.
Her love of music will pave the way for her to follow another passion, helping others.
Flink will use her musical talents to perform a community concert with friends and family. Flink’s sister, Julene Flink, who holds a degree in music performance, will be a featured soloist. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to give donations that will go towards Flink’s expenses for her second mission trip to Haiti.
Flink will leave for Haiti in April with a group of seven other members of First United Methodist Church in Austin. The team will work to clean up and rebuild the St. Martin Methodist Church and school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, after damages from last year’s earthquake.
In 2005, Flink went on her first mission trip to Haiti with the First United Methodist Church. On that trip, the mission team worked in an orphanage and a nursing home and helped build a church.
"When the earthquake happened in Haiti, it was really difficult to watch the news. Some of the buildings I had been in are now completely destroyed. I kept wondering if some of the people I had met in Haiti were OK. I knew after the earthquake happened that I wanted to go back; even if it was difficult to get back there, I wanted to find a way," said Flink.
"When I was in Haiti in 2005, the people I met were so happy. They had a generous spirit, even though they had so little. They were grateful for whatever they had, even if they just lived on the side of the road in a tent. I am afraid that this time, the people will have lost some of their optimism." Flink said.
Flink will take about a week off from her full-time job and her college courses to go on the mission trip. She is a full-time student at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, where she is a junior majoring in social work.
When asked why she feels a calling to return to Haiti, Flink said, "I feel lucky to be blessed with the resources I have. I do not take my comfortable life for granted. When I see someone who needs help, it’s my instinct to help, and Haiti needs a lot of help."