Getting Ready for Haiti
I am preparing to leave on a trip to Haiti with my church this week. 8 days. Away from family, away from routines, away from comforts I am used to.
Actually, I’ve been preparing for this trip for almost a year now. It was supposed to have happened in March, just three weeks after my daughter’s birth. God rearranged the timing, and we leave Tuesday. In all my preparations to go, my oldest daughter, Isabelle, age 5, has been asking questions and excited about it.
“Dad, what will you do in Haiti?”
“Can I come?”
“What kind of water do the kids in Haiti drink? Why do they get sick?”
We’ve prayed together as a family, and I’ve enjoyed seeing Isabelle’s vision for the realities of this world enlarge. Life is not confined to what she knows of North Branch. I’m struck by the kinds of prayers she prays now. She wants the people in Haiti to have clean water so they can live.
When she left today to visit grandparents, she didn’t want daddy to leave. We cried, kissed, and prayed. While I miss my family already, I wouldn’t trade this opportunity for my daughter to see firsthand God doing something bigger than her imagination.
We are going with a group called Poured Out. They had a start several years ago after the earthquake that destroyed much of Haiti, and now they travel on a regular basis to install water filters in homes and schools.
The fifteen people from our church are a mishmash. Some have international travel experience; others have barely left Michigan. Some are teens, others are in their 60s. I’m convinced that none of us will be fully prepared for our week away.
But isn’t that just how God wants it. No matter what the preparation, no matter what knowledge we try to gain to “control” the situation–in the end, this trip is a matter of faith.
So is life. A short-term mission trip is just a microcosm of life. We make plans. We learn what we need to learn. We go in with expectations. We come away changed, hopefully having practiced the presence of God and met Him in the process. And so one of my prayers is that we will take away that lesson: The things we think are unique to a mission trip aren’t unique; they’re magnified expressions of God at work in the same ways He is at work everyday.
If you read this and want to pray for us, we would appreciate it. And I promise to give you an update when we return.