when i walked out of the port-au-prince tent villages of marassa 14 & 17 on a friday in late february, i told the village leaders i’d be back. i think this statement was probably more a reflection of me avoiding the emotions of saying goodbye. but i did feel a burden for these people. and i have a deep sense of anticipation about seeing them again.
same goes for many of the pastors and church leaders we met on that first trip.
next tuesday (may 25, the day after my birthday), i fly to miami, where i’ll overnight before heading to port-au-prince on wednesday the 26th. this time around, i’m taking a team of church leaders, church bloggers, and radio voices. we’re going to connect with pastors and work out more details in the adventures in missions church partnership program (called the “isaiah 58 project”), which will pair up haitian churches with american churches (or, really, churches from anywhere in the world) for prayer, encouragement, community development and rebuilding, and – possibly – trips to bring helping hands. i’ll blog more about this church partnership program separately.
it’s a wonderfully eclectic group going, and i’m pretty stoked to spend a handful of days with them:
– david hayward, more commonly known by his nakedpastor blog moniker. david’s blog is one of the top 100 church blogs, and he’s a guy who blogs with a level of honesty that is rare. a self-described “artist trapped in a pastor’s body”, david brings an artist’s perspective to everything he does. he has recently stepped down from his church in canada, where he served for a very long time. it will be cool to be with david in this time of life transition.
– doug pagitt. doug is the pastor of solomon’s porch, in minneapolis. author of a bunch of books, and a pot-stirrer in the american church. doug also hosts a sunday morning ‘religious talk show‘ on a local minneapolis talk radio station, and podcasts those shows to a wider audience. doug and i have been friends for many years, but haven’t spent much time together in the past few; so it will be wonderful to hang. and, as always, doug will cause all of us to think in different ways.
– ed noble is the teaching pastor of my church. i’ve known ed longer than i’ve known anyone else on the team — he hired me as his junior high pastor (he was the high school guy) at a church in omaha in 1989. ed is coming along to consider a church partnership for our church, with a haitian church.
– tash mcgill is coming all the way from new zealand (with a few days of stop-over here in san diego on the way)! tash is a youth ministry blogger, entrepreneur, programmer, and radio show host. tash lived with my family for 4 months last year, when she was doing some work for youth specialties, and she’s always a joy to have around. she’ll be broadcasting stuff about the trip back to listeners in new zealand.
– seth barnes is the founder and exec director of adventures in missions. we’ve been friends since about 1990, when i first connected with AIM for a junior high missions trip. seth was on my february trip to haiti also, and it will be interesting for the two of us to see how things have changed (or not) in the last 3 months).
– bruce dawson is on staff with AIM, and will be giving leadership to the new church partnership program. i’m looking forward to getting to know bruce, and dream together about how to get american churches engaged in this amazing approach to rebuilding haiti.
– there’s one more guy coming (paul young), but i really don’t know anything about him (AIM is bringing him).
– oh, and me!
in the days before i leave, i expect to blog at least a couple more times about the trip. we’ll be launching a giving project connected to this trip also, with a focus on raising funds for the salaries of a few haitian leaders who will run the haitian side of the church partnership program. more on that in the next day or two. and, we’ll all be blogging from haiti, as we did in february.
in the mean time, a handful of actions you can take:
– join the team facebook group. if you’re on facebook, go to this link and “like” it. that will bring updates from the team, as well as aggregated blog posts about the trip, to your facebook news feed. if you’re not on facebook, you can still bookmark that page and peek in as often as you’d like.
– if you’re a twitterhead, we’ve also set up a twitter feed for the group. someone here in the states will be watching all our blogs and tweets and retweeting them on this page.
– start to pray for us. pray that god will give us wonderful meetings with haitian pastors that will confirm some aspects of the church partnership program, and cause us to drop or modify other aspects. we want to create long-term, sustainable, non-dependent, restorative relationships with church, built on trust and a belief that both churches have something to offer to the other. what we learn on this trip will be key to launching this program.
– think and pray about giving to support the salaries of the haitian staff who will oversee the church partnership program (and watch for my blog post about that).