On Tuesday I will lead two small groups to Cap Haitian, Haiti with the goal of strengthening our relationship with a Methodist school and church in the village of Don Don. The first group, called the “Exploration Team,” will spend time with the District Superintendent of the Cap Haitian district of the Methodist Church of Haiti as we travel throughout the district to visit all the churches, clinics, and schools. During this time we will dream about what is possible through our strengthened relationship. The second team will arrive on Saturday, the 27th, and will focus more specifically on the village of Don Don. We’ll be helping to construct a preschool for the Don Don school and we will present a children’s program that teaches bible stories. Most important in these trips are one-on-one interactions, where the language barrier fades away and a real connection is made. And as I’ve told the teams, as much as you may make a difference in the lives of the people we help, chances are the people of Haiti will make a bigger impact on you.
Aside from providing leadership on this trip, there are a few things that I’m going to pay close attention to for myself.
- Embrace the change, put away the “business mind,” and open up for God’s direction. Time and time again I’ve seen God speak more clearly to people on trips like these. Well, let me clarify…we listen more carefully on trips like these. This pertains to the person that I am and the call God has on my life.
- Be in touch with the poor. God lends a preferential ear to the plight of the poor, and it’s important to understand that life and those cries. A “mission at a distance” doesn’t quite cut it. Not to put down people who are unable to take a trip like this…and there are many who have donated buku dollars that have aided so many, but solidarity with those in need of the loving hands of Christ is the call of the church.
- Be thankful to my wife. Leaving her for a week and a half to fend for herself is a big deal and a huge sacrifice. It’s important not to lose sight of this, and to give her a few dates when I get back.
- Explore a possibility to arrange a relationship between local coffee shops here in the Heights and the coffee producers in Don Don. Haitian coffee is amazingly good, so if those local places are brewing up this Caribbean gem it’s a win win for me. 🙂 But fair trade is a big deal…more than we often realize…so hooking that up would be a huge accomplishment.
- Find a way to bless the pastors, teachers, and District Superintendent. There is so much on the shoulders of these leaders, and they need more than our financial support. It will be nice to find time to pray over these leaders early and often.
Any prayers would be appreciated, and I’m excited to be able to share so much with you all when I get back.