Spring 2020 Newsletter
Earlier in March a mission trip was shorten due to
COVID-19. Although their time there was shorten they were
able to spend some quality time and was not without purpose.
Read Sarah’s and Perry’s trip insights in this newsletter.
Due to the Covid 19 outbreak the team had to
regretfully leave Haiti early. You would think we
would feel the trip being unsuccessful. On the
contrary, we felt very blessed! Every day felt like
two days. We unexpectedly were able to witness
Belade’s 2 daughters baptism and visited an impressive
school and clinic. We also personally
were able to give money to start the fencing
project to enable more profitable crops. The
team had many great times of fellowship and
prayer. We certainly felt God’s presence there
and in getting us home. Praise be to Him!
This was my first trip to Haiti, but it didn’t feel that way. I’ve been hearing the names of places and people there for years now; I’d been praying for this country. Stepping off the plane onto Haitian soil felt like pure anticipation, the anticipation of meeting friends, seeing new things, and finding out what God’s purposes were in this trip. We weren’t there quite a week; as COVID brought us back early, but God hand was shown in that as well.
So, on this first trip, what did I see? I saw what maybe you expect when you think of Haiti: people picking through garbage, children begging for money, and rich houses neighbouring whole families living in the rubble of a building destroyed by one of the natural disasters in Haiti’s recent history. I drove over the remnants of the burning tires of a roadblock, symptomatic of the civil unrest and instability of the country. I saw the effects of a lack of education in the panic of the Haitians on the beach yelling at us to go because white people have the virus. However, I also saw much more. In that short week, I saw the beauty of the country and especially the beauty of the people. In that week, I saw congregations of people praising God, devoted to learning about Him, despite beat up drums, generators going out in the midst of evening service, and tarps with holes for sanctuary walls. I heard Belade’s heart behind his desire to rebuild the church on the mountain of Toro, and the determination of the people up there to be faithful despite their lack. Their joy was truly the joy of the Lord. On the way back down from mountain, we stopped to pray with a woman, a member of the church but bedridden. When we stepped inside their little home, she told us to pray instead for her husband, who was dying because of unknown complications from hemorrhoids. The little tin-roofed structure was hot in midday, and crowded; I was overwhelmed with the need of this man, who had wasted away to a level so emaciated that I hardly believed he was alive. Yet in all of that great need, what I saw, over the poverty and over the illness, was faith far greater than circumstances. In short, what I found in Haiti was God, living and moving in the lives and hearts and spirit of our Haitian brothers and sisters.
From a sociological, economical, governmental, and multitude of other standpoints, Haiti is a country in need. Big need. They need everything from safe housing and food to a stable government. That is something Google can tell you. What Google can’t tell you is that they also have a lot to give; I was so blessed by their joy, their faith, and their hospitality. Google also can’t tell us what our role in their need is, but the Bible can – “True religion is this: to look after the orphans and widows in their distress.” I cannot possibly fill all of the needs that I saw there, but I left very sure that God wanted me to be a part of His plan in it: with my prayers, my finances, and Lord-willing, with my time when I go back again.
Due to COVID, our journey back include a rushed evening booking flights, and a total of four airplanes and six airports over two days, in the middle of a pandemic. Prior to this trip, the thought of navigating six airports alone would have had me wound tight with stress, but I had spent the week learning from the Haitians about trust in God and leaning on His faithfulness and love in the midst of need. And, like the Haitians, I found that my trust was not disappointed; God continues to prove Himself our faithful provider and the Prince of Peace.