All the emotions surrounding my trip to Haiti

I'm going to Haiti[ Catch up with previous posts about my trip to Haiti ]

Wow. I leave for Haiti in only one and a half weeks! And I’m starting to freak out a bit!

As the time continues to draw closer, my mind has almost become totally consumed with the trip:

  • What will I see? How will I feel when I see it?
  • Will I be able to handle my emotions or will I default to “tough guy” mode? Will I be the only one on the team who will struggle with that?
  • Why does the government put an expiration date on my passport that’s dated for 6 months after when it really expires?
  • How will my worldview be shattered? How will that impact my theology? My ministry?
  • I’ve never felt called nor prompted to adopt, but what if that changes once I’m there? Will I come back with some Haitian children? Is that even possible?
  • Will I really be able to make a difference there in only one week?
  • Will I feel called to return to Haiti on a regular basis, taking others with me to serve the people there?
  • How will I respond if I pull a body from the rubble or see dead people laying around?
  • Do I have all of the equipment I’ll need?
  • What if I say or do something stupid that offends their culture? What if I make matters worse?
  • Will the Haitians perceive me to be just another tourist or as someone who truly wants to help make things better?

Compared to the amount of pressure I feel when taking a group of teenagers overseas, this is about 10x more than that. Seriously. And I’m not even in charge of the trip! For once I’m able to just go along and let someone else take care of the details, yet I’m still freakin’ out a bit.

The organization

Adventures In MissionsThankfully, the organization I’m going with, Adventures In Missions, has been amazing so far. They don’t know it, but their detailed reporting about the plans and environment for the trip have done a lot to ease my tensions. They are so thorough, so considerate, and so obviously experienced. Despite my breif relationship with them so far, I honestly trust them so much and am confident that our time in Haiti will be maximized to its fullest potential.

The team

The Youth Ministry Advance Team: HaitiAnother thing that contributes to my sense of security is the rock-solid team of people I’ll be with. Not only will Seth Barnes be traveling with us, the founder of Adventures In Missions, but so will a few other people:

We’ll all be using our social media accounts to share what’s happening on the trip, so be sure to check them all out if you want to hear all sides of the stories. I, too, will be blogging during the trip, as well as using my Twitter account, Facebook page, and YouTube channel to post updates, pictures, and videos while we’re there, so be sure to subscribe to each of them.

Official team Twitter list
Perhaps the easiest way to follow the “Youth Ministry Advance Team: Haiti” on Twitter is to subscribe to the YMATH Twitter List.

Officially on Facebook and Twitter
In addition to using our own social media channels, Adam McLane set up a unique twitter account and Facebook page specificly for this trip. The big highlights of the trip, including videos, pictures, blog post links, and updates will be posted at those places throughout the trip.

Donate and win a $50 gift certificate to

In my last blog post about Haiti I mentioned I have several big expenses to cover, about $660 worth of shots, passport renewal, and equipment. Several of you responded with generous donations. Thank you!

C28 Christian ShirtsC28 Christian Shirts stepped up, as well, and donated a $50 gift certificate for me to give away to a random donor, which is amazing! It doesn’t matter how much you give, whether it’s $1 or $100, use the ChipIn widget to donate securely via PayPal. Any funds that are donated beyond my needs for the trip will be donated to Adventures In Missions and their Haiti relief efforts.

Next Tuesday, February 9, I’ll randomly select a donor to receive the $50 gift certificate for C28 Christian Shirts. In the meantime, check out their website because they have some of the most unique and non-cheesy Christian appearal I’ve seen in a long time.

[ Donate here ]

How 30 seconds could drastically change your life

Adventures In Missions put together a great video about the relief work that’s needed in Haiti. I’m so honored I get to be part of a team that actually goes to serve. February 11 to 17, baby! (Yikes!)

Posted on February 1, 2010

  • Tim, you're heading into a drastically different situation than my wife and I did last April, but on the off chance that some of our experience can help you prepare or alleviate some of your tension heading into your trip, I can speak to some of your above questions out of my own experience.

    -"How will my worldview be shattered?" – I don't know where you've been on missions before, but there is nothing in the West that compares to Haiti. There are tribal areas of the rainforests, etc., where people have less. But there is nowhere where the gap between the way people live and the way they could live is so great. My wife and I have not lost our sense of how blessed we are since returning.

    -"Will I come back with some Haitian children?" – I don't think that is possible right now, but if you do spend any significant time around particular kids, you'll probably want to. We do.

    -"Will I really be able to make a difference in one week?" – Yes.

    -"Will I feel called to regularly return to Haiti…?" – Probably. Like I said, there are poor and poverty-stricken regions elsewhere in the Western hemisphere, but nothing like Haiti. As my Haitian missionary friend says, "Even the dirt is dirty in Haiti." I found it impossible not to develop a compassionate heart for them.

    -"Will the Haitians perceive me as just another tourist…?" – The first time you're there, maybe. For the type of work you're doing, I don't know if you'll be able to find the exact same Haitians again the next time you're there. Because of the huge number of people who have been in Haiti over the last 30 years or so, the Haitian people tend to be slightly skeptical of first-time missionaries. The next time you go back, though, they'll be a lot more convinced that you really care, and they'll open up a lot more. At least that was our experience. The Haitian people are some of the most wonderful, giving people I've ever been around. There was one day while we were there when we made some sandwiches for the Haitian men who were helping us build a chicken coop for an orphanage. We gave these men their sandwiches, and every one of them tore it in half and gave half to one of the kids from the orphanage. Most of the kids tore their halves in half and shared them, too.

    Like I said, the situation you're going into is different than the one we went into, but I hope our experience can benefit you in some way. I'm praying for you and your trip!

    • Thanks for all the input, Joseph! Appreciate you taking the time to do it. That helps. :)

  • GG- B

    Wow.. I always knew you had a good brain.. sounds like it's even working overtime !!
    God paves the way thru the wilderness.. thank Goodness !!
    love and prayers

  • Jeff

    Wow. I'm so excited about this and glad that the people with the right hearts are going (that means you, Tim). Thanks for letting the Lord send you. I'm praying for peace over this next week and a half. I'm confident that God has assembled this specific team for a particular purpose. Thanks again, you're awesome!

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  • Patti-Mom

    Praying for blessings, enlightenment, discernment, safety, health, and the full knowledge of God's love for you to be revealed in Haiti. I will be praying for you, your family & your team daily.

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