“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” – Luke 12:32-34
It has been an amazing two days here. Yesterday we arrived at the airport in Port-Au-Prince Haiti, which is always an experience, and made it to the guest house we are staying at for the week. During this time we met Pastor LaBranche and our security team – many of whom were with us last year. I have to admit, it was a bittersweet moment for myself and the others who returned for the second year as we were unable to meet the pastor who led our team last year, Pastor Michel, as he passed away suddenly a couple of weeks ago.
However we were able to introduce the new members of our team to our incredible security team, interpreters, pastoral leaders and others who truly help make this such an exceptional mission trip. They welcomed them like family as they always do, and we were able to catch a glimpse of Haiti from the car windows as we traveled to our home. I can’t express in written word the poverty and the desperation that exists in this country. However, the kindness of the Christians here is overwhelming. We are treated so well by the men and women of the CMBH and never feel unsafe or unwelcome.
We were able to spend some time together our first night, but everyone was ready to get to work and exhausted from an early departure time so we headed off to bed early and were all up and ready to go to our first place of ministry: the church at New Jerusalem. This is a special place for our team because this is the first place of ministry in Haiti that we visited last year. This time last year we came to New Jerusalem to build benches for their congregation. This year, thanks to God’s provision through Warren’s team and all those who helped raise the funds for our team members, we were able to help them begin working on a new church building.
Now to us that sounds like something that might be excessive or unneeded, but you just have to take one look at their current structure to see that something needs to be done. The current building they use as their church home is nothing more than one and two by fours holding up a metal roof. It is leaning heavily to one side and seems as though it could collapse at any moment. And close to 500 people worship there every Sunday. They are in dire need of help – and we are able to provide it.
However, that provision hasn’t come in the way that most of us expected. Honestly, by the time we arrived, they had already dug much of the foundation and had a system in place that was quickly laying the stones upon which the new church building would be built. When we first arrived, we struggled to find purpose and what to do. When you see how these Haitian men and women were working, you simply did not want to get in the way of their process and be a burden rather than a blessing.
Honestly, this was difficult at first. Our team is full of go-getters and people who want a mission and our mission seemed to be to provide moral support. However, as the day went on, we began to realize our individual purposes on this trip. It was so incredible to watch each member of our team begin to find their niche. Some were incredible with the children and always had a crowd around them, even though they are not necessarily fond of being around that many kids. Others sang songs and danced with the kids. Still others had great conversations with some of the older teenagers who could speak some english. We all had great conversations with our security team.
Most of all, we were able to watch and provide for a church to come together and celebrate what God was doing for them. You see, we are the first team to ever come to work for the church in New Jerusalem. Their Pastor, Sha-sha, was almost in tears Monday morning as he showed us the work they had done that weekend and praised God over and over for the love of our team and our church for sending them the help they needed to make their church seem permanent and to have a safe place to worship. Throughout the day he was constantly checking up on us, shaking hands, joking around, and thanking God for the blessing of us.
All because we showed up and loved them enough to care.
The rest of the day was a whirlwind of kids, dust, and exhaustion. We took the hour long car ride through the streets of Port-Au-Prince back to the guest house and had an amazing time of worship. We might be tired and hot, but we can’t wait to get back tomorrow and see all of those faces who have changed our lives forever.
Our team wants to thank everyone for your prayers – keep them coming! And thank you for the sacrifices many of you made financially to help our team and our church to be a blessing to the church here in Haiti. Thank you for investing in eternity and laying up treasure in heaven. We can’t wait to share what God does next!