The group that headed down to Haiti from Life Church (Conyers Foursquare) was a diverse one – pastors, nurses, a fireman, an administrator, a college student, etc. For several, this was a return trip to the country, each already having been to Haiti and just waiting to see how God would move this time. For others, this was their first missions trip, their first time out of the country, and for some, even their first ride on an airplane. While every single member had an overwhelming desire to help, it was interesting to see how strongly different members felt called to different outreaches. A couple were going specifically to do medical missions, some to do construction and rebuilding, while others wanted to love on orphans. With all these varied interests, it was easy to wonder how this trip was going to come together in any cohesive way.
Then we stepped foot into Haiti and saw the need – the overwhelming, compelling, multifaceted need. Need in America can be covered up, only occasionally glimpsed, as people hurry about their busy lives. The need in Haiti, especially following the earthquake, slaps you in the face and assaults your senses. There was going to be plenty for us all to do – no matter how varied our interests were.
Our introduction to this trip went something like this –There is this place with a beautiful waterfall that needs a little church built. I don’t know why, but visions of a quick ride to the base of a waterfall where we would help build a church sprang to mind. It never crossed my mind that waterfalls usually require height. They have to fall from somewhere. In this case, it was a very steep mountain. A very steep mountain that had to be climbed to reach the construction site near the top. In addition, everything being used for construction had to be carried up. This climb kicked our American butts – 2 hours straight up on the first day (never mind that it only took Haitian children 30 minutes to do it while carrying 30 pounds on their heads).
After finally making it up to the site and catching our breath, construction started. Three days of work followed. Ground cleared, holes dug, rocks collected, posts set, cement mixed and poured, gables built and hung, sheet metal roof secured, roof capped, and site cleaned up!
Immediately afterward, we gathered together under the brand new structure to anoint and pray for the new church and the pastor. We blessed the pastor and sang “How Great is our God” on the mountain top overlooking the hills, valleys, and ridges of this beautiful country.
A lesson learned from Lascahobas: Unity. In America, we fight for unity. As we climbed the mountain and worked, we saw Haitian after Haitian helping one another out and helping Americans. In Lascahobas, unity is the only means for survival. I’d say…lesson learned. What an amazing adventure. One that will never be forgotten!
In the end, the climb was only a minor inconvenience on the road to Kingdom advancement.
Port au Prince Medical
Healthwise, what’s less serious or normal back at home seems to be an extensive and relatively important issue down here in Haiti. The supplies that we have as a team can mean life and death to the people of Haiti. The patients we see simply want to be heard and cared for just as we do. We, as the medical team, are able to offer them the help they need both spiritually and physically. Not one patient we see goes away without the question, “Do you know Jesus?” This question is very common down here in Haiti but not back in the States. I learned a lot, as far as the medical side, but I also learned what is truly important – the knowledge and revelation of Jesus.