Posts RSS Comments RSS

Archive for the '2018 Nov Family Trip' Category

A Sunday That Truly Meant Rest

By team member Chad Swank

In Dallas, Sundays can be a brief distraction to the busyness of life. But rarely, at least for me, is Sunday a “Sabbath” experience.

Here in Haiti, removed from the trappings of my life in North Texas, I was reminded of what it could be. We rested… and not just resting in the absence of work projects or sporting events or social media, but resting in God’s goodness and mercy.

The day started with corporate praise to our God who is able to save both Americans and Haitians. Our team then decided to spend time together sharing our stories of life transformation. That time has been my favorite so far. I was encouraged by hearing about the power of God to forgive sinners, restore families and relationships, and provide an eternal hope for today and for the world to come.

Lunch was followed by a time of intentionally engaging with other families and teams here at Mission of Hope, as well as with staff and orphans. Our team played basketball, made jewelry and other crafts, and sought to initiate conversations with our “neighbors.” Evening was spent reflecting on all that God has taught us and done through us, and being challenged to be “Village Champions” where God has placed each of us in Dallas. The day ended with fun games of Uno, Farkle, and Mafia.

Rest! Not simply the absence of activities, but the intentional pursuit of loving God and loving others. Jesus calls to us who are weary and heavy laden, and He promises rest. His promises are true.

No responses yet

Remembering Our First Day in Haiti

Written by team member Gracie Michael

Sac passé? (What’s up?)

As I write this, we are wrapping up our third full day in Haiti right now and reflecting on the time that we have had, as the Lord continues to reveal more and more of himself to our team through the Haitians and their lives.

Our first day, we spent our time in a village called Labordri. Our team spent the day planting trees for the people in the village, and we spent time getting to know the men, women, and children that lived there. For the second half of the day, our team was split into two groups, and we led kids’ clubs at two different churches in the village. This time was spent loving on the sweet kiddos that we often see running throughout their homeland. Ridge, one of the four Thomas kids serving on our trip, developed a really cool relationship with a fifteen-year-old Haitian named Berlonto. I was blown away by the way that Ridge loved on this kid, who was three years older than him. He didn’t do or say anything extraordinary, but he made an impact on this fifteen-year-old by just being a friend who would hang with him, ask him about his life, and play the beloved game of fútbol with him. It is so cool to watch even the younger kids be the hands and feet of Christ by using their gifts and being faithful where the Lord places them.

One of the biggest encouragements from being in the village came from the actions of our village translators and our village champion. Two men in particular, Nixon and Geff, led our group boldly and intentionally, and in such a way that furthered the advancement of the gospel. Towards the beginning of our time in the village, you could tell that everyone felt a little awkward, or nervous about what these conversations were supposed to look like. The desire to clearly communicate the gospel despite the language barrier was in itself enough to create angst and discomfort. Despite this, Nixon and Geff continued to spur us on to be bold and to take advantage of the opportunity to encourage their people. After briefly talking to a woman named Wilda, Nixon asked us, “What else do you guys have to say to encourage her?” Nixon went on to talk about how he loves that he gets to take us into his village, because he knows how badly his people need to be encouraged to continue to trust the Lord each and every day. He challenged us to dig deep in conversation with the people and to speak encouraging truth to them, because that is what we are there to do.

I was blown away by these two men and their boldness and commitment to the message of the gospel. They were walking through their own village, a place where they have lived their entire lives and had relationships with every villager, yet they continued to throw away everything to follow Jesus. This would be equivalent to me walking around my high school, JJ Pearce, interpreting the gospel to each and every person I knew. This is ultimately what Jesus asks of us and reflects his calling to “drop our nets and follow Him” as talked about in Mark, chapter one.

Unfortunately, tomorrow is our last day in Haiti, and we will be wrapping up our time here while spending the day at the beach to relax, spend time as a team, and reflect on the past few days. Continue to be praying that we would be bold in our conversations with each person we meet and that we would continue to live on-mission even as we come back home to Dallas. All in all, our prayers for ourselves and for every follower of Christ are that we would live each day in light of the radical nature of the gospel – because it is a message that is, indeed, radical.

Au revoir (Goodbye!)

No responses yet