This summer I had the opportunity to lead a team of 10 from my church to Haiti for a mission trip. After returning from the trip, I shared in a message at church about the trip, as well as a lesson learned there that we need to be challenged with here as well. Below is a video of that message…which includes a highlight video and several pictures of the trip.
Also, below the video is an article written by Jacob Jackson, a friend of mine who was on the trip. He wrote this article for our church newsletter, sharing his perspective of our trip to Haiti. (it is being used with his permission)
Jacob Jackson’s Haiti article (with no edits)…
On August 21st ten of us from First Parish Congregational Church left in the early morning to fly off to Haiti for a whole week to support our brothers and sisters in Christ in whatever way they needed. And although we didn’t speak the same language, and we’re different colors, and our cultures are vastly different, in just a week our team of ten became family with a Haitian community far up in the mountains. And we formed a bond in just a few days with those people that was so strong that it brought tears to our eyes as we departed and drove off just as quickly as we had arrived.
After our experience in Haiti we gained a little more insight to see a few more colors in our own society; because after being in Haiti for just a week, we can all tell you that we are blessed in so many ways. Blessed with our electricity that hardly ever goes out, with our sanitation system that picks up our trash every week and never fails, with our clean food, and our water at the flip of a lever. But through all these blessings I can say we have become maybe a bit lost, a bit shallow in modern American society: with all our blessings and stuff, we have become so caught up materialistically that we have forgotten about relationships. And that may sound silly until someone spends a week up in the mountains with these people. In all the ways we have it good, Haiti has a blessing in love, a love that we have lost in America overall. A love and a care for being involved in local communities and valuing relationships. We are so busy with our heads in the clouds and down in our phones that we forget to look at the person beside us and look at them like a human should. With love and respect. And with that being said, this same love they have manifests in their generosity, which is truly one of a kind. Amazingly even when these people have hardly anything to give, they scrounge something up and give willingly and sacrifice something essential to themselves and their families just so they can give to another. I can certainly say their hearts are far purer and more genuine in more ways than I have seen anywhere else. Pure and genuine to one another and more importantly to God.
So, to the Christian or believer reading this I say truthfully that God is taking care of our brothers and sisters down in Haiti, even in their turmoil, God has always met their needs. And to anyone that doesn’t believe in the one true living God I will ask you to just ask yourself with an open mind if there could be a God even in the midst of all our differences between people like us and people that live in Haiti. Because even though we are so different, there was one thing above all other things that bound us in love and that was God. A real and true and good God and I say that with utmost certainty. To everyone I would like to say a big thank you to anyone who supported us along the way, your support makes trips like these possible. Small trips like this one are so crucial to the world, not only because we were helping others in need but more importantly for the opportunity to develop and deepen our relationships with others around the world. To bring two completely different groups together to build in relationship, to play, to talk and to pray together.
Lastly, I’d like to remind whoever may be reading this to remember how blessed we are and to more importantly look past those blessings and all the stuff we have and say hi to your neighbor, or next time you drop off your child for a play date, talk to the other family and invite them over for dinner. I honestly don’t think there is anything more important to develop while we are here on earth other than to develop relationships with others. There is nothing else in this world that brings more life than that. It may be hard to believe for some but not even the zeros in your bank account compare to the friendship you could have with a neighbor. And along with that the scriptures just solidify this thought even more. So, continue on friends and family, smile and wave to the next person you see and remember, you are blessed.