In 48 hours, I’ll be landing in Miami to sit for that awkward layover time between home and Haiti.
It’s during this time that I get very antsy, anxious, nervous, and impatient. Well actually, in the last 48 hours before any trip to Haiti, I usually experience these sentiments and emotions.
This trip is an exciting time for me. Essentially, since I have moved into the position of the Children’s Home Director (again, essentially “The Dude Who Tries To Get Support For The Children’s Home”), this is my first trip dedicated to be able to focus completely on the home. The previous post lists all of the projects that we will be able to do while down there.
I am very pleased to say, to my best knowledge, all of these will be funded. This doesn’t mean that my team will be able to complete the work on these next week, but it does mean that they’ll be funded and all of the work that is being done to fix up the home, bring it up to governmental standards, etc., is funded. This is a huge burden lifted off of me.
Being 100% transparent, I have felt much spiritual warfare going on leading up to the trip. First, it was the financial issue. I kept asking myself “How will these goals that have been given to you to get done while you’re down there by the Turners, get done, if you don’t have the money to do so?” And God supplied. Fast. No really, within a week, I was almost fully funded for mattresses and the cemetery – the two main projects. And yet it continued to come in so not only do we do the two main projects, we’ll be able to go above and beyond. That was a distraction and a worry to me, but God has taken care of it.
But then, things got a little dicier…this year, we were able to secure enough people to get a group rate through American Airlines. This was awesome, as we’re paying about $125-$175 less this year than we were last year. The only catch is you have to sign a contract, have 90% of your people fly, and there are no refunds. A few hoops, but no big deal…until family members of team members begin to get sick. There was a lot of stress over the last two weeks – much less for me than for them. Two different men were dealing with issues that put their status in question. If both of them dropped, we only flew 9, we lost a deposit, plus our ticket fares would change…never good. I was stressed, sleepless, and couldn’t focus. One of the men worked extensively to make sure he could go…and a way has been found. The other man worked extensively to make sure he could go…and a way was found.
Interestingly enough, on Sunday, I received a call from another friend my father had spoken with who informed me he would not only like to go, but would have the funding to go if someone dropped. So I offered the position up to one of the men who has gladly decided to stay home with his family member to relieve his stress. The other gentleman will be driving 7 hours to fly out of St. Louis with us.
Another man has had a vehicle’s transmission go out.
I say all of these things to point out that I am expecting a phenomenal trip. Why? Because there have been countless issues that have arisen in the past two weeks to try to distract. They might seem minor, but I do know that I am excited to be leading a team of men to Haiti.
It’s not anything that we’re going to be doing while we’re down there. I mean, let’s be honest – in seven days, what can we do? We can lay some brick, buy some mattresses, install some toilets – but that’s nothing that our Haitian workers cannot do. That’s not what this trip is about. I have shifted my mindset from it being a “short-term missions trip” to be more of a “vision trip.”
Yes, we’re going to work hard. Yes, we’re going to be in church with the Haitians, with a couple of Americans deciding to preach. But in seven days, what long term results will we set in motion? Probably none. Minute if any. But what we will see happen, is men catching a glimpse of what God is already doing around the world. We’ll see men changed through the power of God. The things that they will see, not the poverty and malnutrition, but the hope, love, and worship, will bring about a lifetime of memories and change.
I know what will happen to the men on my team, because through seven previous trips, that’s what has happened to me.
I do nothing special while I’m in Haiti. I hang out with kids. They’re my friends. It’s almost a vacation these days. Yes, we do work. Yes, we bring funding. But it’s not about me at all. The work would be done without me. Why? Because God’s Kingdom is being established. He is a mighty and powerful God.