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Monday, February 20, 2012

Haiti Mission - Day 0

Bonswa Interneters, Interwebers, Nerds, and No-Lifers. Take your pick. I just got off work after just getting home after just getting off the planes from Port-de-Paix, Haiti. I went on a mission trip with Rivertree Christian Church from Akron, Ohio and let me tell you what, it was something else.

Throughout the week long trip I kept a journal. Brief. Direct. To the point. But it sums up nicely what we did each day and what I took away from it. I will begin posting these journal entries along with some of my 300+ photos in a series.

Today I would like to give you insight into what goes into a mission trip, and some of my reasoning behind going.

What does it take to go on a mission trip?

1. A reason to go
2. A place to go
3. Money to go there
4. The Church

A Reason to Go
Sometime over the past year, my dad and I both read a fantastic book called Radical. I don't think I reviewed it on this site and I regret not doing so. I snagged a copy and dove right into it. Alongside my daily devotions, this book opened my eyes to one simple truth--the great commission is not optional. And it's not to the Church in general.

It was written to me.

The Spirit ate me up, so I told my dad about the book. He in turn read it and got eaten alive by it as well. We decided to go on an international mission. Some place different. A trip to Haiti opened up and we jumped on board.

Later, I had to write an essay about why I went. I've posted it below:

Go therefore and preach the gospel to all people. Make disciples in all the nations. Defend theorphans and widows. Such was Christ's command to the early church. This command is not optional; itis a calling to go, seek justice, and rescue the oppressed from their chains wherever they may befound—in America and around the globe. This command is not age specific. Sin strikes the young andthe old, and the rich and the poor. Therefore, having the opportunity to reveal the gospel to a lostpeople, a Christian of any age is joyous to accept. Nor is the command people specific; we are calledto go to all nations and all peoples. I have, accordingly, an obligation as a Christian and as a humanbeing to go to Haiti and proclaim the Gospel. But more than obligation alone. Haiti is a nation ofhurting, broken, and lost people. As their comrade in the human experience, I relish the opportunity tomeet their physical needs. This means rebuilding homes, educating, and playing sports with children.For these reasons, I hope to journey to Haiti and spread the hope of the gospel to the Haitian people.

As the trip drew nearer, we prayed and fasted, asking God to prepare our hearts for our mission.

A Place to Go
We considered several different locations. India was high on the list. A vastly different culture and many different opportunities. We knew missionaries there, Japan, Venezueala (sp?), and many other places. India fell off to to cost. Our connections in Japan said they didn't need us (still a major shock to me) and though the missionaries to Venezeuala offered extreme encouragement, we opted out of that due to the, for lack of a better word, conveinence of the Haiti trip.

An old friend of my dad's was taking a group to Haiti. It would be both cost and missionally effective. So we went.

Money to Go
The trip was not very expensive, but it wasn't pocket change either. And with the three of us going (Dad, Stephen, and I) adds up. We dug up as much as we could ourselves and then we invited others to help us. We wrote letters to old church friends, current friends, and other connections. God came through in bucketloads. People gave small gifts, large gifts, the greatest gift of prayer. One small church was about to close its doors and donated all the money they had left, which paid for one of us to go completely.

Not only did this ease our expenses, it allowed others to involve themselves in mission work. By offering a gift toward missions, people became more aware of our and others' missions, were led to pray for us and themselves, and will be encouraged by our stories. Three chears for being the Church!

The Church
Those going on the trip got together before the trip started and helped out an orphanage with numerous small tasks. Why? To get to know each other to some degree before we left the country.

We drove up to Akron and helped an orphanage demo buildings, clean buildings, organize, mail letters, unload food, etc. All in all our efforts helped the organization continue serving orphans, and got our feet wet serving together.

It snowed heavily and we all knew this was just the beginning. We were frozen now, but we'd be burning up in Haiti in another month.

What mission trips have you gone on? What kind of preparations did you make? How did they benefit you?

Let's chat.

For the One,


Ellie said...

I can't wait to hear about your trip to Haiti. I went there last spring with my church youth group and it was a very eye-opening experience in such a different country.

Gillian Adams said...

I've been to Haiti twice so far. And it's been an amazing experience both times. I'm looking forward to going back again!

"Stand tall now and proclaim what you have seen, speak in whispered roars..."