HAITI MISSION TRIP
This past Sunday morning, a team of 21 FBCTLH members returned from our tenth mission trip to Haiti since the January 2010 earthquake. This was the second-largest team we’ve ever sent and included seven youth and one senior pastor. This was also one of the busiest weeks of ministry we’ve had in Haiti, and I’d like to give you a sense of all that took place.
Once again, we worked with the Joy House and their network of churches in the areas of Gressier and Leogane. Our team began the week in worship on Sunday with the Evangelistic Church of the Great Commission, and after the service, we distributed 25-pound bags of rice and small bags of beans to members of the church as they had need. That afternoon, our team split into small groups for a prayer walk through the surrounding community, followed by a prayer meeting / worship service that evening.
During the week, we offered a VBS each morning at one of three church locations for anywhere between 110 and 165 kids, as well as for an orphanage on Friday with a little more than a dozen children. Before beginning, we would often split into teams to walk the neighborhood and invite children. VBS opened with plenty of energetic singing and dancing, followed by a Bible story complete with actors and props. Then we’d split the boys and girls to take turns doing crafts and going outside for recreation. After everyone had a turn, we’d gather back together for a gospel presentation, followed by more singing, and then cold water and a snack for each child before they left.
At the same time that part of our team was doing VBS, we had another crew taking part in the Dorcas ministry on Monday and Tuesday mornings to visit women in the church, especially widows and the elderly, pray with them, and offer to help with any needs, which usually involved joining in with their laundry work. This was James 1 in action.
In addition to VBS and Dorcas ministry, we also had another crew completing construction projects for the school on Tuesday through Friday mornings (and sometimes into the afternoon). Our team measured and constructed eight large tables and sixteen eight-foot benches/desks during the week. Then on Friday, they painted all of the tables we constructed, as well as all of the other tables in the school.
In the afternoons, we offered English classes every day to at least 60 youth and children, and ended the week with 83 students on Friday. At the same time, others helped with a women’s Bible study on Wednesday and Thursday, and a men’s Bible study on Friday. For those not helping with English classes, construction, or Bible study in the afternoons, we sent out teams several days to do door-to-door and street evangelism in the neighborhood, inviting folks to come to the activities taking place that week at the Joy House.
Each day culminated with an evening prayer meeting / worship service at the church that lasted several hours and included Pastor Gary or Funmi sharing a message. The space was dimly lit, the heat was often sweltering, but the Spirit was always present as we worshiped alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ.
At the end of the week, our team moved 204 30-pound boxes of rice (that’s more than 3 tons!) from a bus at the Joy House down the hill to a storage room at the school. This rice will go to help feed the school children as they begin a new school year. Before leaving on Saturday morning, our team was asked to walk around and pray over the church sanctuary, school, and recreation area, which may have been some of the most significant work we did all week. After leaving the Joy House at 10:15 AM Saturday, we took a two-hour bus ride to the airport, sat through hours of flight delays, and even had our eventual flight rerouted, but by God’s grace we rolled up to FBCTLH at 9:35AM Sunday, just in time to for our Haiti trip report in the Fellowship Hall.
We are so thankful to have a church that is intentional about international missions and supports teams like this through prayer, giving, and words of encouragement. Despite being one of the numerous churches that regularly send teams to the Joy House, we found out that we were the only American team to come thus far this year. Though disappointing, this simply serves to reinforce our resolve to go and make disciples, even in the hard to reach places of our world. This sentiment was best captured by a quote from Lottie Moon herself, which we placed on the back of our trip shirt this year: “I have a firm conviction that I am immortal until my work is done.”
Please continue to pray for the work that God is doing in Haiti and especially through our brothers and sisters at the Joy House and their network of churches. And pray for boldness and obedience on the part of the church in America to take seriously the Great Commission and the sacrifice that will be necessary to fulfill this charge from our Savior and Lord.