Monday, June 30, 2008

That's It - We're Going!

I'm in the process of organizing a team of folks to head to Haiti in September and I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to finally be in the planning stages. We'll be traveling to the New Missions Campus on the Leogane Plain just like last year. It's a very beautiful place in so many ways. It's clear when your there that God has blessed it. From the breathtaking views to the icy cold well flowing with clean water - you can tell that God is in the mission. This is the same mission that Pastor George (mentioned below) founded back in 1983. It's now expanded to 20 schools and churches and its my prayer that great Haitian leaders will come from there and make a difference for their country. That would be an awesome day!

Back to the trip. Call it "Voluntourism" or a short term mission, but either way, I guarantee we all get more than we give. That's the beauty of working for God and serving Him. I think of the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats. It's Matthew 25:31-46. You probably know the take away. For me, its......"whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me". In simple terms - if I serve the poor and needy than I am in effect serving Jesus? Correct!?Absolutely! Amen! The goal for all of us is to do it everyday. Not only in Haiti but in our backyards as well. We can't turn it on when we're abroad and then turn it off when we return home....or can we? Therein lies the challenge for many of us - including me.

Back to the trip. I need your help. Is he talking to me? Sure I am. We'd like to raise some support in a humble, professional and courteous manner. Those of you who may have done this before might have ideas to offer up. If so, please submit a comment and let me know. I know that whatever is in God's Will will occur, but I know that we can't sit idly by but instead must be actively pursing the prize or in this case the support. Please share your ideas. The team has some, but we can use all we can get.

Lastly, I want to encourage you to check out the Livesay blog. This family is really incredible and needs your support and prayers as they make a change in their life. They're changing the organization with which they're affiliated and this requires a move and other changes. Troy, the husband, has just released a photo book called Rocks in the Sun and it looks phenomenal. Tara, the wife, says that $28 from the sale of each book helps support the Livesay Family's new ministry. If you can afford it, consider picking up a copy and supporting these wonderful folks who work so hard to help the Haitian people. I'm definitely going to try and budget for a copy. To get to their blog just click here. Although I've not met or communicated with this family directly, Tara is a fantastic writer and the blog speaks volumes about their passion for serving. After reading just a few posts you feel like you know them.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Haiti - Hope in God

To have hope in Haiti means to have hope in it's future. To have hope in God is integral. Romans 12:12 says - Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer. There's so many wonderful people out there making a difference and that is reason for joy. Families like the Livesay's and so many more. Working hard everyday to share the love of Christ through their witness and their actions. I'm encouraged when I see the many sites and blogs out there dedicated to Haiti and serving it's people. It encourages me to do more. One thing I will do is reach out to others who are in the mission field. Pray for them, support them when I can and encourage them always.

That said and the reason I mentioned hope - The country of Haiti lost one of it's great warriors last week. Pastor George DeTellis went home last Thursday morning and the world lost a great man. His impact to the people of Haiti and the Dominican Republic will be felt for generations to come. He was an incredibly passionate man and speaker and I regret that I never had the opportunity to meet him here on this earth. Fortunately, his wondeful family carries on this vital ministry. Instead of rambling on about Pastor George, I encourage you to visit and learn about him first hand. I couldn't do him justice with my words, but the site offers a glimpse into all the many things he's done. God Tube also has some very informative videos. You can search using the words - New Missions. Pastor George's passion is evident and contagious as you watch him speak. Man, I would have loved to hear him preach God's Word!
Well, I hope your week is off to a great start. Don't be afraid to leave a comment or two. Let me know you're out there and thanks for reading.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Mountains Beyond Mountains

Video shot in June 2007
Inspired by the Haitian Proverb - Mountains Beyond Mountains
Just some simple panorama of the Haitian countryside in case you've never seen it. I have no clue what I'm talking about in the beginning.....btw the background noise is coming from a generator. A Haiti necessity if you plan on running anything electric.

The Beginnings - A Little History

Bonjour! or Bonswa!, (Depending on the time of day)

This is the first of many entries. I intend to use this blog as a site to journal, plan, think aloud, share and just babble. After having visited Haiti in 2007 on a short term mission, I am infatuated with it. It is a land of contradiction. So much beauty amidst so much poverty and suffering. My naive American nature cannot grasp that this country is a mere 600 miles off the coast of Florida yet it's like stepping back in time. I'll share some statistics in future posts, however I would imagine that most who take the time to read this blog are similar to me in that they've already immersed themselves in all things Haiti. More to come shortly. Thanks for reading.