Last month I went to Haiti with a couple other youth ministry bloggers to help Adventures In Missions start providing relief to the people and to form a network of Haitian pastors and churches through which AIM can provide the relief. Rather than being an organization of rich Americans who come in, dump a lot of supplies and leave, AIM wants to partner with churches in Haiti and provide ongoing support through the pastors there. These pastors are well respected, full of integrity, know their communities, and will be there to continue the work long after we leave.
Now that the network is in place, I felt strongly that I needed to go back and actually execute on it, especially after hearing how the government relief organizations are still very slow to respond. The best relief aid down there is being done by ordinary people like me. So I’m going back.
I contacted someone I know at Adventures In Missions and asked if they could use me and, if so, how? They said the best way for me to help is to bring a team of people. Since my wife is pregnant and the rest of the year is pretty full, I needed to go sooner than later, so we set the dates for April 24-30, only a month away!
I originally planned to open the trip up to you blog readers, but I offered it first to youth group kids, parents and people at my church. I was shocked by the response! I thought it would be difficult to find people who could go on such short notice without fundraisers and support letters, but apparently God was already working in their hearts because the trip is full! The team is a good mix of junior highers, high schoolers, parents, other adults and a couple other youth workers I know, including my youth ministry mentee.
The risks and faith stories of our team
What impresses me most about the people going is that most of them are taking significant risks and stepping out in faith to make this trip possible.
- One girl is using her college savings to go because last month she told God that she would follow Him there if He gave her the opportunity to go. She’s trusting God will replace the money for college somehow very soon.
- A high school guy committed to following the Lord’s prompting with absolutely no money to make the trip possible. He’s trusting the Lord will provide the funds for him to go despite the fact that we already purchased airfare for him, money he needs to have by Monday.
- Our local Youth For Christ leader moved to town recently and is still raising support for his family, but feels that God telling him to go, so he also committed without having a dime. He’s trusting the Lord to provide by Monday just like the previous guy.
- Another college-age guy recently lost his job, is unemployeed, looking for work, and has many legitimate excuses why this trip can’t work for him, but because God was tugging on his heart for Haiti even before I asked him to go, he committed to the trip. Within 48 hours, God supplied 100% of his funds.
- Even my wife is stepping out in faith, feeling very scared and nervous, especially being pregnant and going to a 3rd world country, but she knows this is what God wants her to do, so she’s going.
- My wife and I need $6,000 to pay all the health insurance deductibles we will definitely meet with the baby delivery in September, but instead we’re using the money to go back to Haiti and also to do missions work in Mexico this July. We’re trusting the Lord will reimburse us for those expenses in His perfect timing.
And there are so many other stories from this team. It’s amazing. This whole trip will definitely be a great, big God-story.
We need your help
If God’s blessed you financially and you’re in a position to be able to give, please do so. The cost of the trip is $1,038 per person, plus any passport fees, shots, and equipment people need to buy. We will be distributing food, water, and medical supplies, as well as helping people construct shelters from the massive thunderstorms that come during this rainy season in their country.
Make checks payable to “Alexandria Covenant Church” and mail them to:
Alexandria Covenant Church
c/o Tim Schmoyer
4005 Dakota Street
Alexandria, MN 56308
Write “Haiti trip” in the memo line and, if you’d like your donation to go toward a specific person I mentioned above or just to whoever needs it the most, please make note of that with your donation. Thank you!
The rainy season started in Haiti
Although the earthquake took place over two months ago, the need in Haiti is still as great as it ever was, especially now that the rainy season has started. Help is needed more than ever, specially over the next couple months of the rainy season. This video explains everything.
Posted on March 25, 2010