Well it’s finally here! We leave tomorrow for our first West Pines Community Church missions trip to Haiti. In May, Pastor Matt Mashburn and I did an overnight fact finding trip (video here) with Great Commission Alliance Network (GCA) and were shocked at the magnitude of need in Haiti in general. Of course we’ve all seen the CNN Haiti reports, but the scale of tent cities are not comprehendible based on what you see on a news report. The sheer number of homeless is staggering, the heat, and the lack of hope were much larger than I had anticipated.
Given the magnitude of need: Housing, healthcare, food, clean water, education, government, etc. it’s difficult to identify how to help. Our strategy is to focus on one thing and do it well. We have chosen for this trip to serve at a small orphanage that was out placed by the earthquake. They moved to an abandoned house with nothing. When we were there, the children were malnourished, there were 10 children and 2 care givers sharing 6 pillows on a concrete floor, no restroom/shower, some of the kids had no shoes, underwear, shorts. With the help of GCA, they now have beds, the children are fed and clothed. There’s still much to do, but they’re on their way back. We’re going to be doing a 2-day Vacation Bible School (VBS) in which the children will learn some English, have several activities, participate in learning some new songs, and have the Gospel delivered during the 2 days.
On Tuesday we had a Haitian American named Gardy come to our final team meeting to talk about growing up in Haiti and teach us some basic communication skills (words, mannerisms, etc.). We asked what it was like being a kid growing up in Haiti and what the kids perceptions are of us coming would be. He gave a one word answer: HOPE
HOPE – that’s what Jesus offers. That’s why we’re called to serve these orphans. That’s the Great Commission.
Please pray for the team, the orphans, and that God’s plan for Haiti. Also pray for Sheri, Savannah and I as we travel and serve together as a family.
What are you doing to help the poor, homeless, orphans, single moms? The problems are big, yes, but there’s something you can do to help just one. You know what it is, just do it.
Make sure to checkout Melissa Mashburn’s blog post on Haiti and follow us on twitter for live-from-the-scene updates:
Pastor Matt Mashburn
Pastor Robey Barnes
Pastor Jon Elswick
We’re all using Twitter Hash Tag #WPHaiti if you’re not on twitter and want to know what’s happening, go to http://www.twitter.com and in the search box, use #WPHaiti to read all that’s happening.