I made my first trip to Haiti in February 2010, shortly after the earthquake that devastated much of Port-au-prince and it’s sister city Carrefour. In that first trip, amidst all of the devastation and loss of life, my life was forever changed by the undeniable sense that God was at work in Haiti’s darkest hour.
Over and over again the people I met with had a simple message: Do not forget about us.
On the long journey back to Santo Domingo and flight home to San Diego I made a very simple promise to God: I won’t forget.
Over the past 5 years I’ve been back to Haiti several times. As I wrote about last spring, the work in Haiti has shifted from the immediate relief efforts and rebuilding to forming long-term, healthy partnerships to support the movement of God that was unleashed with the earthquake. (see all of my posts on Haiti)
Over the past 3 years we (The Youth Cartel) have been proud to partner with Praying Pelican Missions as we’ve sought to activate churches, young adults, families, and youth groups to come and partner with the local church on the mission field. There’s a lot of chatter about the problems of short-term missions. And, quite frankly, there are a lot of unhealthy short-term mission trip opportunities out there.
That’s why Marko and I have taken so much time and gone so slowly, examining and re-examining PPM’s philosophy and on-the-ground actions. We’re sensitive to the reality that many mission trips do indeed “pimp the poor” or turn mission trips into “poverty tourism.” And, while it’s impossible to always be perfect, we’ve found PPM’s way of doing short-term missions to be great for North American participants while actually helping further the ministry of the local church in places they serve. (see When Helping Helps)
For me, the health that I’ve seen in PPMs work in Haiti is marked by their development and investment in local leaders. As you’d expect, when they first started working in Haiti they partnered with some people but trips were largely run and overseen by Americans. But as time has gone on it’s been awesome to see that leadership transfer over to Haitians. Local church leaders are hosting and leading teams, they are developing new partnerships with more and more churches, and they are behind the scenes doing everything from accounting to overseeing the various teams operationally. I think this symbolizes the health and vision of PPMs work there. They don’t just want to bring down North Americans for the sake of the North American experience. They also want to see their work more holistically, so it’s not just Good News for your team… but Good News for everything PPM touches. (From the bus drivers to the cooks to the part-time summer staff to the full-time staff to the pastors that they partner with.)
I’m headed back to Haiti this April 11-14th and I’d like you to consider going with me. Together we’ll have the opportunity to visit with a whole bunch of PPMs church partners all around the Port-au-Prince area. (And as last years vision trip team learned… maybe even to a church partner on the other side of the island!)
Specifically, I am inviting you to come on the vision trip if…
- You are considering a short-term trip to Haiti with PPM
- You have a heart for Haiti and are interested in what it might look like to bring a team
- You’ve heard about Praying Pelican and you’d like to check them out for yourself
- You’re a ministry leader and you’ve had a bad international short-term missions experience and you need to cleanse your palette
- You’ve felt called to minister in Haiti but are not sure where to start
Here’s how it works
We’ll arrive in Port-au-Prince on April 11th. You’ll book and pay for your own flight, but we’ll pick you up. (The new airport in Port-au-Prince is really nice!) We’ll get you oriented to Haiti, we’ll meet our hosts, and we’ll probably meet with 1-2 pastors. Sunday we’ll experience church in Haiti and then spend some time meeting other partners. All day Monday we’ll continue meeting with ministry partners and seeing the work PPM is doing. And Tuesday we’ll fly home.
What’s the cost? Basically, you pay for getting to Port-au-Prince and we’ll take care of everything else. (Housing, food, transportation) When you register you’ll pay a small deposit ($100-$150) that will be refunded when you arrive. We do this just to make sure you show up!
Where will we sleep, eat, etc? Most likely, we’ll stay at a church and eat most of our meals there. The “worst case” scenario is that we’ll stay at a hotel. In all seriousness, staying at a local church is really a highlight for me and I prefer it over a hotel. It’ll be pretty basic. But you’ll have a comfortable place to sleep, showers, and great food. (That’s one thing about PPM… you are guaranteed to eat very well!)
Safety, etc? Yup, all of that is taken care of. We’ll go over those details with the team before we leave. Needless to say, we’ll keep you safe and the PPM team knows what to do if something goes wrong.
Fill out the form below and we’ll follow-up with you.