In my experience we tease people we like. By that measure the Haiti Vision Team really likes one another.
Wrapping up my third vision trip with PPM is bittersweet. It’s bitter because I love the people. It was so awesome to see a lot of pastors I’ve visited before, to catch up with them about their ministry and family… It’s great to hang with the PPM Haiti staff who are some of the most gracious people on the planet… But most of all it was such an honor to be with a group of youth workers this weekend who caught the vision for what partnering their ministry with a Haitian ministry could look like.
And oh! We teased one another endlessly. From the simple “cool kids sit in the back of the bus” to the endless jokes that I must be a blue state liberal from California, [I prefer granola, for the record] the teasing was playful and a sign that everyone enjoyed the trip.
Today we took a long bus ride to visit to a remote church north of Port-au-Prince about 2 hours out of town.
After we huffed and puffed up a steep and slippery hill to the church [because the bus couldn’t make it],
our my complaining ended when we learned that the Haitian staff of PPM had saved their own money and invested their own time to start this building project, Haitians serving Haitians to build the Kingdom of God. We learned that before this building was constructed the church met under tarps on the top of the hill, usually in the mud. And the Pastor humbly told us how he’d ruined his back with years of setting up and carrying the poles and tent to the top of the hill for worship.
From there we took a little pit stop and visited a large park with a waterfall. I love rivers and creeks. So it did my heart some good to have some time in a river. I didn’t make it all the way up the rapids to the waterfall, but I loved cooling off in the water below.
After driving back to Carrefour, we capped off our trip with a special dinner with some pastors we hadn’t yet gotten to meet. For me it was another opportunity to reconnect with several pastors I’d met in the past. And Pastor Samson, the first pastor PPM connected with in Haiti, delivered a powerful message about the strengths of his partnership with PPM and how God is using their relationship to re-invigorate his churches calling to missions. Including plans for his church in Carrefour to send the first PPM team to Cuba as well as a team to their partner church in Mississippi. (Re-read that sentence. Mind blown a little???)
Lastly, we came back to Good Shepherd to do a final debrief. And by debrief I really a mean one last time to tease one another.
Here’s the thing I loved about the people who came on the vision trip: they had no pretension, they had no firmly held opinions about what to expect, and they came with open hearts to hear from God about potentially bringing their church back to Haiti. You simply can’t ask for more faithfulness than that.
I think it’s easy to forget about a place like Haiti. It’s a statistic factory. But one thing you might miss if you’ve never been here is that while they may be known for some things, they are not known for spiritual poverty.
It’s easy to look at Haiti with pity. But if you paint Haiti as a place to pity you’d likely miss what God’s up to here. God is pouring out his grace on the poorest country in our hemisphere. There has been a tremendous spiritual awakening going on here for more than five years.
And so when I think about “Why I come here?” I just look at it rather simply: I want to be where God’s on the move.
And that movement? It’s an invitation. Come here. Just trust me on this. Come.
Want to learn more about serving in Haiti with Praying Pelican Missions? Fill out the form below and let’s chat.