reflections on Haiti

I have been thinking about Haiti over the last couple of days and with our 2nd team coming home tomorrow, I thought it would be a good idea to capture my thoughts on my recent trip.

I know heading down there I was nervously excited as this was the 1st mission trip I had ever been on. I’m not sure why but anytime I have visited a foreign country I always become apprehensive and think about all of the bad things that could happen while I am there. Such as a military uprising with no way to get back home or some natural disaster that prevents the trip back. Yea, I know that’s probably lame but I’m just being honest here.

Our group was an interesting mix of guys. Team leader was Craig, a real veteran of mission trips and disaster relief efforts around the world. A guy you definitely want on your team, especially the first time out. Rob, Ryan and Eddie are all construction types – you know like Tim the Tool Man Taylor – only they are all competent builders and such. Then there’s me, sports and computer type junkie who you would not want to build your house, design maybe, but not build. The one thing we all had in common is that we love Jesus and knew we were called to be on this journey together.

5 guys coming together to go and serve others by helping to build homes out of concrete blocks. I knew we were going to a 3rd world country and that we would see people struggling with life and basically just trying to survive the next day. I struggled the early part of the week with how to relate to the people of Haiti. After all, we were on a mission trip, to share the good news of Jesus and to help build houses. Yet, I found myself struggling with this question – Why on earth would any of these folks want to listen to anything I said? I couldn’t relate to the level of despair, pain and suffering that they have had to endure. And I sure wouldn’t be around long enough to make a real difference – would I?

I can’t adequately explain this but for me it was a simple matter of getting out of my own way. To allow God to use me without worrying about how I looked or sounded or whether or not I said the right things at the right time. To simply be used by Him for His purpose. During the course of the week I was reminded that no matter where we live, what we do or the circumstances we may find ourselves – we are all just people trying to do life the best way we know.

And the cool part is that I was able to relate to the people of Haiti and made some friendships that will last the rest of my life. I am now looking forward to other mission trips and opportunities for God to use me even if it is way out of my comfort zone. And after spending time in Haiti, I realize this as well, Jesus is universal!! I know most of you are now going – DUH!! but really, that was something that struck me as I was there. The same Jesus that knows and loves me here, know and loves the people in Haiti and He is the One commonality that we have with everyone.

I encourage each of you to pray about doing a mission trip. IT WILL CHANGE you forever. Lastly, to WooWoo, Jeffrey, John-Wesley, Gregory, Gid and the other folks I met in Haiti. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives.

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