thoughts on returning to haiti

IMG_0043a little over three years ago, and less than a month after the earthquake that devastated haiti, i rolled over the border from the dominican republic in a minivan full of 8 youth workers. over the next several days, our team encountered pain and devastation and suffering like i never seen in my life. but we also encountered a well of hope that surprised me, and in many ways, completely reoriented my understanding of what real hope looks like.

in fact, the experience of that first trip has been germinating in me, showing up in blog posts and sermons and talks and other opportunities to beta-test ideas. and it’s now the subject of the major book i’m writing for IVP. i would not be writing this book were it not for that week in haiti and what i experienced.

i went back a second time, a few months later, with a group of pastors. one of those was the senior pastor of my own church. and the result of that trip was the establishing of a church partnership between my church and a wonderful church in carrefour, haiti. in the years since, the pastor of that church has been to our church twice; and my church has sent 4 – 6 teams to haiti every year. it’s been transformative for my church, and we’ve been able to be a part of helping this wonderful church in haiti bless their community.

i’ve wanted to return to haiti, since those two experiences were, and continue to be, so profound for me. and i really wanted to find a way for my 15 year-old son max to get to haiti. he’d done a school project on haiti a few months before the earthquake, and has had a big heart for the country even before the challenges created by that devastation.

so, it’s with major excitement and a good dose of trepidation that i fly to haiti tomorrow, bringing max with me.

we’re going with Praying Pelican Missions, to see their work. The Youth Cartel and PPM have been partnering on a few things over the last year or two; but adam has been the point person on that (he’s been to haiti with them, even, and will be with us there this coming week also). i’m really not familiar with their work, but have heard such positive responses from youth workers who have worked with them on short term trips.

PPM will have 170 participants from multiple churches in haiti this coming week, so we’ll be very much observing them in action.

i hope to be reporting on the trip here on my blog, sharing my impressions and what god is stirring in me. i also have great expectations about seeing everything through max’s eyes.

anyhow: pray for us. i expect to sweat off about 10 pounds, be uncomfortable in all sorts of ways, get stretched, be moved to tears, and–please, god?–have another encounter with the sort of hope that only comes from god.

2 thoughts on “thoughts on returning to haiti”

  1. My wife and I are going to Haiti in February of 2014. It will be my second time and her first. My first time was right after the earthquake as well. Our church has been sending two teams of people every year for many years. Going there changes your life in ways that words can’t even describe, but you know because you have been there.

Leave a Reply