Anniversary of My Trip to Haiti

Officially one year ago today I was wrapping up my trip in Haiti.  Looking back it was one of the greatest adventures of my life.  On one hand I was able to help a northern village and preach in Port Au Prince, and on the other hand Haiti helped me reach that next level in my faith.  I would not be where I am at today without Haiti and the wonderful people there.

While I was there, I experienced a couple days of real darkness.  In earlier journal post I talked about some of the things that bothered me on my trip, but now I realize the darkness I experienced was Satan attacking me spiritually.  He knew the outcome this trip would have on me, and he did everything he could to break me down mentally.  Like any muscle sometimes the brain needs to be broke down in order to grow stronger.  Overall I am mentally and spiritually healthier because of this trip.

On this anniversary I want to encourage everyone to get involved in Missions.  Maybe you cannot go on a trip, but you can support one financially and with your prayers.  Take action, and get involved.  Even as I speak the country of Japan is in desperate need.  Pray that God will open doors, and that this will be an opportunity for mission teams to go in and spread the good news.  Pastor Shannon O’dell wrote an article on 7 Ways to Pray for Japan.  Be sure to check it out.

Read My Haiti Mission Trip Journal

Also, please pray for my brother in Christ Bill Moore and the AFDC team who are currently in Haiti. Haiti needs your help.  Please consider supporting this endeavor by contacting the Aid For Developing Countries.  www.AFDC-Haiti.org

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Haiti 2010 Post-Haiti

Post-Haiti: Tuesday, March 23rd 2010

All I dreamt about last night was the destruction and chaos.  I wouldn’t classify my condition as P.D.S.S. Post Dramatic Stress Syndrome, but probably pretty close.  I looked around my house this morning, and I realized for the first time that I didn’t need any of it.  Now I sit and feel hopeless.

“What do I do with myself now that I am not awaking to a country in extreme poverty in need of my help?” I asked myself.

I’ll tell you what I’m going to do.  I am going to wake every morning to a country in Spiritual poverty and extreme moral decay that is need of people to love on the ones around them who are hurting and in need of the Gospel.  Here I am Send Me!  Join with me in this struggle to pray and challenge America to turn its heart back toward Christ.  I will continue in this journey to serve a powerful God where ever he leads me.

Pray for Haiti, and pray for me as I try to adapt back into my ministries, and serve with a deeper love and compassion for the people I serve.

(I plan on posting some more photos and other miscellaneous thoughts, after 4-6 weeks of being home to give one last reflection of my trip.)

Haiti 2010 Day 12

Day 12: Monday, March 22nd 2010

I said farewell to Haiti today.  I am very sad that more has not been done here.  In a lot of ways it is very sad.  I said goodbye to my team whom I developed some form of bond with each of them.  I also drove down the chaotic streets one last time.  I looked at the pain and sorrow in their eyes knowing that in the morning I will wake up in the comfort of my home, while they are still suffering.  95% of me is dying to get home, but out of it all that 5% of me that wanted to stay spoke the loudest.

“Dear Oh God, you are sovereign and magnificent.  Only you could create something so beautiful only to be destroyed by the sin of man.  May we find comfort in your arms knowing that this life is just a passing through.  I pray that you will bring spiritual renewal in our lands, and be the springboard that restores our countries.  Amen.”

Haiti is a land with much potential and opportunity if only it had the leadership to take it in the right direction.  “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” – John Maxwell

The trip home was rather tiring.  We went from Haiti to San Domingo Dominican Republic to San Juan Porto Rico on to Chicago IL USA.    It felt good to arrive back home, as we left the plane for the last time.  Arkansas never felt more like home.  It was extremely good to see my pastors face (Brandon Cox),  once we stepped out into the snowy arctic air where he had a van waiting for us.  I arrived at my home a little after midnight.  My bed is calling my name.

Sleep safely Haiti, knowing that there is a mighty God who knows your pains, and feels your hurt.

Haiti 2010 Day 11

Day 11: Sunday, March 21st 2010

1:00pm ish: You have probably noticed that I add “ish” to a lot of my times, and in case you were wondering, it is because time is not that essential here.  Night and day seem to be the only real form of time here.

Today was… well I’m at a loss for words.  Being back in Port Au Prince reminded me of why I was burdened to come here in the first place.  No words or pictures can describe the poverty and destruction.  You have to see it for yourself to believe it.

I preached to a crowd of around 150-200 Haitians today at Bethel Baptist Church in Southern P.A.P. (See bottom of page for sermon notes). I have been extremely blessed to preach last Sunday morning in Creve, and this Sunday morning in P.A.P.  This morning at Bethel they were actually able to give each of the individuals a large bag filled with rice, beans, and cooking oil.  That was a true blessing for the people.  That is probably enough food for each of them to survive 3-4 weeks.

We spent some time touring more of P.A.P.   We drove past a large garbage dump, and there were multiple Haitians digging through the heap.  It was awful.  It was just down the road from a large market, and the smell in the air was ungodly.  For about a 10 mile radius the stench of death and rotten sewage filled the air.  Many of the structures were destroyed with many bodies still under them.  I don’t know what the answer is to restoring this area, but we have to do something.  They almost need to build small cities of commerce throughout all of Haiti, and evacuate the people out of P.A.P.  It is simply overpopulated in this city.  If typhoid was to set in, it would wipe out the majority of the population in this area.

I have seen about all of the poverty and destruction a person could handle for a lifetime.  I hate to leave it knowing that when I am relaxing in the comfort of my own home there will still be tent cities all over Haiti with people sleeping on the ground under tarps and sheets in the midst of sewage, waste, and sickness.  I think I am going to be sick to my stomach.  Lord, get me home!!

I hate that this trip is about to end, and my emotions are not in better condition.  I would also love to tell you we made a huge impact, but there is so much need here that it could take 100 of years, 1,000 mission teams, billions of dollars, and more.  Every little bit helps though.

Feeling burdened to help?  There are many ways to help:

  • Financial Support
  • Child Sponsorship
  • Mission Team
  • Pray Warrior
  • & multiple other opportunities.

Contact the AFDC today to get involved!!

www.AFDC-Haiti.com

 

 

Sunday March 21st Sermon Notes:

“There is Hope” – “Gen Espwa!!”

I. Introduction:  About us, our trip, and the story of the goat deer

II. Illustration of the Man, the donkey, and the well

III. 4 Key Applications from Isaiah 6

  1. Recognize our sinfulness in comparison to the Glory of God v. 1-5
  2. receive Salvation (purification) through Christ alone. v. 6-7 / N.T. Romans 5:8
  3. Respond to the Call v. 8
  4. React to the Command v. 9-10

IV. Invitation “Gen Espwa!!” (There is hope!!)

Haiti 2010 Day 10

Day 10: Saturday, March 20th 2010

Today was awesome!! We woke up at 5:00am and it is only about 4:00pm now.  We ate spaghetti for breakfast, took a nice 2 hour drive over to Mol Saint Nicolas where we got to meet a real cool kid named Michael Hoover.  He graduated home school at 17 and he has been traveling the world with missions.  He is just a teen and has been in Haiti for 2 months now, and in May will be leaving to go to Peru. 

We also took the opportunity to grab some sugar cane Coca-Cola. Man it taste good!  Much better than the junk they call coke in the U.S.  We also fed Jean-Claude’s chicken that he was carrying in a banana leaf satchel.  He cut out a small hole for the chicken’s head to stick out.  It was really funny, but you had to be there. 

 

 

While in Mol we also got to see some of the old Forts w/ ancient canons and a gorgeous beach.  I took the opportunity to collect some sea shells while I was there.  A young Haitian boy helped me fill my shirt with various shells.  I decided to only keep about 4. 

 

Then I took the opportunity to wade in the most beautiful body of water I have ever seen.  The Bay of Mol Saint Nicolas is literally amazing.  If you are ever in the Northwest part of Haiti, you have to go check it out.  Words cannot describe how beautiful it was.  Had to been the bluest water in the ocean.  I also rode along the shore line on the back of a four-wheeler for 10-20 miles.  Pure Awesomeness. 

Then it only got better from there.  I got to be the co-pilot on our flight back to P.A.P. w/ Mission Aviation Fellowship (M.A.F.).  Nothing like being the co-pilot and flying along the coast line of Haiti.  I really think that Haiti could one day be a vacation hot spot.  it is close to the U.S. and it is beautiful w/ the exception of P.A.P. due to the earthquake.  The waters at P.A.P. are very muddy and dirty, but still a site to see with 30 or more ships out in the bay.

We had an excellent trip, and once we landed in Port we headed off to some hole in the wall restaurant to grab some lunch.  You wouldn’t believe who we saw there.  Sitting at a table next to us was Hollywood star Sean Penn.  I got to meet him and talk to him for a little while.  I asked to have my picture taken with him, but he declined.  He said if we weren’t in Haiti he would be glad to.  The fear and risk of being taken hostage for an american is a serious reality, especially for someone if people knew that they were a movie star.  It just amazes me, that you rarely ever see a movie star unless you are in Hollywood or L.A., and I see one at some run down restaurant in Haiti.  That just baffles me. 

Afterwards we had to say farewell to our Dominican brothers, and our interpreters Nixion, Lima, Jean-Claude, and the others.  Then off to the grocery store, followed by some voyaging through P.A.P. for some more photo ops. 

 

I am now resting within the comfort and security of the compound.  I spoke to my wife today, and that is always a blessing.  I was re-united with the Canadians on last time before they fly out in the morning back home.  I look forward to fellowshipping with them one last time this evening followed by some sermon prep for tomorrows Sunday morning service.  I just remembered… I found out today that Christopher Columbus actually landed in the bay at Mol Saint Nicolas during his 2nd journey.  I want to research that a little bit more when I get home.  I believe it was shortly after that, that they built the two forts along the coast line.  They still have canons there that are around 400-500 years old.  There is 3-4 along the ruble of the old fort walls, and a couple actually under water.  Neat stuff.

7:00ish pm: Enjoyed the evening in fellowship with my team and it was great.  I really enjoy Michael Barton, he is like a skinny Canadian Version of me. (He as a Youtube Channel called Bushcraftbartons, you should check it out.) I see that a lot of his reasoning skills are very similar to mine.  Dinner was good.  Mrs. Mona went out of her way once again.  I ate a hotdog with this Haitian jalapeno pickle relish… good stuff.  All of the luggage arrived safely.  I am happy to see that.  Jim Earl kindly took all of our pics and put them on disk for us.  Today is just getting better and better.  It is funny, the first night Bill and I stayed outside on the balcony by ourselves, but this time the whole group is planning on sleeping outside. 

I already have my bed made out on the balcony, and now I am looking out at the star lit sky eating a cup of multi-flavored ice-cream.  This is like a small piece of Heaven.  The only thing that would make this moment perfect is my wife and son in my arms.  I am counting down now.  2 days left.  “Sweet heart where ever you are I Love You. x0x0x0”

Haiti 2010 Day 9

Day 9: Friday, March 19th 2010

Rain has moved in overnight.  It is good and bad.  Good because the cistern is in need of some water, and two it gets some of the dirt out of the air.  Bad because today’s schedule has been done away with.  Breakfast was good as always, but I could have settled for some poptarts, but God has provided in great ways.  Today is the day that we will wrap up some of our work here in Creve in preparation for our journey back to Port Au Prince (P.A.P.).  We are talking about leaving early in the tomorrow to do some   in Mol St. Nicolas.  Hopefully the leadership will follow through on this.  I know schedules change, but I really would like to have a day like that.  We are now on the down side of things, and I am looking forward to the finish line.

Tomorrow we will be traveling and sight-seeing.  Sunday I will be preaching, and we will have church and evangelism.  Monday we will take the journey from P.A.P. to the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico, over to Chicago IL, and then back home.  That will be a long day.

More Creole terms:

  • Bon dye Beniw (Bon Due Be-new) – God Bless You!
  • Silas Fe Me Bouj u – Be Quite, Silence
  • Ou Pa Compren? – Do you understand?
  • Como Ye? – How are you?
  • Tre Bien – Very Good

12:00ish pm: We went and took a closer look at the school today, and what we saw was scary.  The structural integrity of this three-story tall brick building was a disaster waiting to happen.  I don’t know what it will take to make it secure, but it looks like something needs to be done.  Other than that I have just spent the day sermonizing.

I enjoyed spending this time in the Word of God, ut I really wish we could be doing something to help the people of Haiti.  Hopefully this afternoon the rain will die down and we can make the trip down to Bombard to give medical supplies to the hospital down there.  Until then I guess it is just a waiting game.

7:30ish pm: I really enjoyed this evening.  The rain cleared up just enough for us to take our trip to Bombard to go deliver medical supplies to the hospital.  It is about a 45 minute trip in the back of a Toyota pick-up.  It was a four wheeling, mud-slinging, off-roading experience in the back of this truck.  The back-end of that truck fish tailed a majority of the way because the muddy dirt roads were still really wet.

On the way back Wilson stopped and asked for us to see a couple of women who were shut-ins for medical treatment.  We agreed and went to the Rochfort medical clinic to get some supplies.  From there we hiked to his house.  I went there a couple of days earlier w/ Michael Barton from Canada, so I knew the way.  We got there and he had a full set-up.  What once was just a framed hut, now had a tarp for a roof, benches, tables, and chairs.  And what was supposed to be a couple was actually like a couple dozen.  We officially named it the Wilson Clinic.  So “a couple” was actually like “not to far”.  We saw about 10 of the 50-70, and apologized to the rest.  We were only equiped to see a couple. Anyway it turned out to be an interesting afternoon.

I hate to say anything negative, but I did get a little edgy tonight.  It seemed like since we were leaving tonight all of the work hands were lined up to beg for what ever they could get.  Just prior to this evening I had the privilege to give away stuff to people who really needed it.  Like Walter, he is one of the larger Haitian men and he has a hard time finding clothes that will fit him.  I gave him like 3 sets of clothes.  Then there was La Voy Ti who asked me when I first arrived at Creve, If I would give him my shoes before I left.  I told him that those were the only shoes I had, but I would try to find him a pair out of some of the clothes and shoes we brought.  Unfortunately, we did not have any that would fit him.  I graciously gave mine to him tonight.  I was honored to hive him my shoes.  I also gave Leniere a flashlight.  These were not the problem issues.  The problem got to be when I couldn’t even leave my room without people pulling on my clothes, cornering me, and begging.  And they did it to every one of us.  I just have to remind myself that they are desperate and this is part of their culture.

I am truly blessed to have experienced Haiti, but unfortunately I do not share that same deep compassionate love for the nation of Haiti as my friends do.  That does not mean I don’t love the people here, it just means that be a missionary to Haiti is not a life long calling for me.  I would love to visit in the future, just not as often as some of my team mates.  Do I believe God called me to come to Haiti?  Absolutely!!  God has opened my eyes in so many ways, spiritually, mentally, physically, and in multiple other capacities.

I just heard a loud KABOOM!!  There is no telling what that was.  Possible gun shot, but unlikely since were not in Port Au Prince.  In P.A.P. Gun shots are extremely common.  There is no telling with some of the contractions  that they have around here.  Most likely it was a blown generator.

I look forward to returning to Blue Ridge compound in P.A.P.  I really enjoyed my stay there, and I look forward to working in P.A.P. a little bit more.  Well its time for lights out, and we are headed off to Mol St. Nicolas to go to the ocean shore and check out the old military fort, and look at some other interesting sights.  Christopher Columbus settled at Mol St. Nicolas, I believe it was on his 2nd journey to America.