Those of you who follow me on Twitter or are a fan of the Life In Student Ministry Facebook Page already know this because I announced it last Friday with this post on my personal blog at timschmoyer.me.
To hear the story of this opportunity, I strongly encourage you to go read that post first. It tells the story of how I responded initially to the opportunity, how the Lord convicted me about my self-centeredness, and changed my response.
The short version is this: Early last week I was asked if I was interested in a trip to Haiti. Since it was during time I had already scheduled to be in Texas on a family vacation, my wife and I mostly declined, but as I thought about it throughout the rest of the week I felt very convicted. “Tim, how can you go kick-back in Texas and relax when there’s so many people in Haiti who are literally suffering! And you have an opportunity to help!” Matthew 25:40 and James 4:17 kept kicking my butt all week long until I got the email, “Tim, the trip is officially on. Are you in or out?” Apparently my wife had a change of heart, too, because when I approached her about it again, she said I needed to go even before I said I was actually thinking about doing it.
So, here I go! I’m scared, nervous, excited, and unqualified, all at the same time. I’m going with the expectation that God will just wreck me, that He’ll shatter my perspective of the world and of life. It will be hard, I’m sure… harder than I can imagine. I’m so comfortable in my tiny, self-centered, narrowly-focused, perfect American world.
There’s more about that in my original post, so let me use the rest of this post to fill in some details that are missing from it and answer some common questions I’ve received so far.
Common questions about the trip
First of all, this is definitely, absolutely, 100% a serving trip. I am not going just to be a tourist and see the sights. If that were the case, I would much rather go somewhere cleaner and safer than Haiti. I’m going to serve water and food in a community where currently no other relief is present except a small team from the organization I’ll be joining. The cool thing about this team is that they are serving along-side of Haitians instead of just taking over and doing it on their own. They’re partnering with local churches, drenching the ministry in prayer, and have a lot of experience in relief efforts, including Katrina.
I know people are being told not to come to Haiti unless you’re an expert, like a doctor or a dentist or something, but they’re mostly speaking to people without a plan, who just show up at the airport without a ride or a place to go. I am traveling to Haiti invited by people who are already there, who have a plan for me and our ministry time together. Reports from the people they’ve helped on the ground are, “Please come help us! We’ve been left homeless and without anything, and we are desperate.” Advance teams from this organization are being met with great gratitude. Furthermore, it doesn’t take an expert to clean up debris, hand out food and water, or just be present to give hope to people by showing them, “Hey, you’re not alone! We’re here for you.”
Follow my trip in Haiti
Depending on wifi availability, you can be sure I’ll do my best to keep you all in the loop with what’s happening while I’m there, including pictures, videos, tweets, and blog posts. I’m not sure what the Internet access will be like, nor do I know a lot of other details yet, but hopefully by next week I can update you all again with how everything is coming together. In the meantime, make sure you subscribe to my following channels for my videos, pictures, and updates from Haiti:
- My Twitter account
- Subscribe to my YouTube videos
- Become a fan of Life In Student Ministry on Facebook
- Subscribe to LISM in iTunes
- Subscribe to this blog either by RSS or by email
I need some financial help
It’s no secret that a missions trip costs a lot of money. Fortunately, most of it will be paid for by a very generous donor! (Thank you!!) There are some expenses I have to cover myself, however, most notably are the necessary immunizations and some gear, like decent hiking shoes and mosquito netting. I don’t have final prices on all the shots and immunizations yet, but it sounds like they’ll easily add up to several hundred dollars.
If you feel compelled to partner with me financially to help cover some of these expenses, I would greatly appreciate it. Any funds that come in above and beyond my necessary expenses I will donate to the Haiti relief work of the organization I’ll be joining. The dates for the trip are February 11 to 17. Please use this chip-in widget to donate money to my PayPal account. Thank you!
Posted on January 26, 2010