Bound for My Home in Haiti Again!

As you may already know, CityChurch Charlotte has been sending a mission team to Haiti for the past 4 years (specifically to the village of Titanyen- north of Port-au-Prince). A team of 14 from CityChurch are heading back to Haiti this July, and on their behalf, I want to thank our church community for the incredible love and support they have shown us! This weekend, we had the largest fundraiser yet. We kicked it off with a huge yard sale on Saturday with loads of donations from individuals from our church family and other friends. A few short hours later that Saturday night, we prepared a Haitian lunch (or as Haitian as we could get it) for our annual Haiti Fundraiser Lunch after the service on Sunday. We had over 100 folks join us that day to eat with us and generously give us financial support. We hope everyone enjoyed the food and their time together. Our team continues to be overwhelmed and grateful for the success of the weekend.So, what next? Well, we are going to have an opportunity to get involved with special work projects in Haiti through our partner organization, Mission of Hope. This means that we can go above and beyond the typical mission trip. We can plant trees in individual families’ homes, feed children, teach hygiene classes, and install water filtration systems & solar lights, etc.- all the while sharing the gospel to our friends in Titanyen. These “hands on” projects make a huge difference to the villagers and their families. As someone who has gone twice already, it’s amazing to witness the transformation you see anywhere you look during this week of serving…even in the mirror.

Again, the support from our church family and friends has been amazing! We cannot say it enough. Knowing that they are helping to support our trip financially to get us down to Haiti in the physical realm is great, but having their support spiritually is even better. Please keep us in your prayers in the months to come as we prepare for the trip – and of course when we are in Haiti July 25-August 2, 2015.

For me, this is my third year going to Haiti. I’m the vet of the group – along with Momma Misty. I thought it might be helpful to share a little bit about why Haiti keeps calling me back year after year. Even though I use my vacation days to go, it’s not just a scenic vacation to the Caribbean…

Serving others is my favorite thing to do. Hands down. The first year I was down there, the poverty smacked me in the face. I thought I was poor – seeing these mega rich people around Charlotte skewed my view of what rich even means. Flying into the country, I looked out the window and just saw rubble. It took me a minute to realize that was real. This place is that poor. People live in tarp houses and wear the least fashionable clothes I’ve ever seen. I mean, if I have one snag in a shirt I throw it out. Here, you’d be lucky if you had a shirt to call your own at all. It took a couple months for me to get adjusted to life back in the US after that. I don’t think anything has been the same after..but now I at least don’t feel bad about buying food.

I spent most of the year just wanting to be back in Haiti. Yep, I was looking forward to sweating…I guess that’s a good detox? Anyways, as we pulled into the campus last year, I felt like I was home (Already sweating!). It was a feeling I didn’t really expect to have. Home – what does that even mean? How could I feel at home in a place I’d only been once and in a country I don’t even call my own? The learning curve for the poverty was wiped out since I already learned that lesson the first year. I jumped right into really questioning why I was down there, what I should do, and how I could really make a difference.

As an American, I am a go-getter. Type A. List maker. You know what I’m talking about! I wanted to get stuff done! The problem with that is, Haiti won’t be able to sustain itself if we just go fix everything. I had to take a step back and think about what the mission was doing – I was just a peg in the wheel. But I had control of my attitude and could really make the best of whatever task they had me do. I held this one three year old, Sambian, most of the week. The first time we pulled into her village, she ran at me with open arms and the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. I felt it in my heart and could’ve probably cried. I didn’t even know this girl – couldn’t communicate with her, but I loved her. We were attached at the hip the entire week. Every time the bus pulled into her village, she was there waiting for me. It was incredible. My team and I had an extra hundred bucks to really make a difference in her village. We were able to plant 70 trees with that money – insane, right? That could get you like a plant for your screen porch in the US. These trees were different. They were fruit & nut trees, and we walked around the village planting them in people’s yards. This was huge for them – it would provide shade and produce. This was a life changer for them – they had hope for their future. At a little over a dollar apiece, I saw lives touched by this small charitable gift. And I look forward to serving alongside my new team this summer to share that same hope and love to villagers and to touch their lives…in this familiar “home” God has called me to!

Haiti Team_2015