this morning, i fly to miami, where i’ll overnight and meet up with the rest of our team. and tomorrow morning, early, we fly to port-au-prince, haiti. our team is going to do work on and launch the adventures in missions church to church program, pairing american churches with haitian churches. my trip to haiti in february was life-changing, and i expect this one will be also. i so completely resonated with teammate david hayward‘s post yesterday, listing 10 pre-departure thoughts about the trip. most of them are true for me also, in slightly modified form:
1. I am going to miss my family. I realize I’m only gone for a couple of weeks. But we are very close. Lisa and I are very much in love. It will be a difficult time to be separated.
2. I am nervous. I always go into these trips a little anxious. I never know what’s going to happen. I’m not afraid of flying or anything like that. It’s just that I have this sense that I have more work to do and don’t want to say goodbye to it yet.
3. I will be heartbroken. I’m going to come across some devastation and grief. I’m going to witness the ramifications of injustice, poverty and trauma. I am going to meet orphans. That alone will kill me.
4. I am going to get angry. I just finished a book everyone should read, War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, by Chris Hedges. It brutally describes the senselessness of violence, injustice and war, and how choosing love is the only antidote to choosing death.
5. I will fall in love. I’m going to meet some wonderful and humble people. I’m a sucker for those who struggle and don’t or can’t hide it. I will fall in love with people remarkably free of much of our baggage.
6. I will see the depravity of my own life. This usually happens to people who come from more affluent societies. My complaints will fade in comparison to theirs, and my self-centeredness will become painfully obvious to me.
7. I will meet some amazing people. The underlying unity of the human race will impress itself upon me, and I will be driven deeper into my love for the world-wide community.
8. I will be changed. I feel like I’m going into surgery. It is not elective, but urgent. I have this gut-wrenching sense that something remarkable is going to happen to me that will transform me forever.
9. I will receive more than I give. Isn’t this always the case? I don’t feel at all like I am coming with something to offer. Hopefully the team and I will be able to raise some money for the impoverished Haitian churches. But I am expecting to receive much more than I give.
10. I will start the next chapter of my life. I have this sense that I am going through a door. Hopefully not to the afterlife. I still feel like I have some work to do. But we never know our time. I do have a strong inkling that the next chapter of my life will be opened to me while I am there.
if you would like to help us, there are a few things you can do:
– follow the team on our facebook page or twitter feeds. all our media stuff (posts, pics, etcs) will be aggregated there.
– pray for us.
– give. we’re trying to raise $35,000 to hire a few haitian church leaders to run the church to church program from the haitian side.
One thought on “today, i’m off to haiti”
I understand the first point. When I went to Haiti in April for 10 days I knew it was going to be very hard to be away from my family for that long. All of the rest I definitely experienced when I went to Haiti. I need to read that book you mentioned in the 4th point.
I will be praying for you as you go be the hands and feet of Jesus to the Haitians.