I have remembered.
The earthquake of January 12th, 2010 brought the world’s attention to Haiti. The Western world had become comfortable, casual even, in referring to Haiti as a place of political instability and extreme poverty. Phrases like the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere rolled off the tongue easily and most Americans had very little working knowledge of Haiti’s rich history, culture, and importance.
And yet the volume of destruction on January 12th kept the media’s attention much longer than a typical news cycle. With an estimated 100,000-150,000 killed, many more injured, hundreds of thousands displaced, and an entire nation impacted in some way, the world wanted to know what to do.
Large NGOs responded.
And in February 2010, I joined a group of youth ministry bloggers on a trip to begin seeing how North American churches might respond.
Since that trip, tens of thousands of North American’s have gone to Haiti to do short-term missions work of one variety or another.
As I reflect back on that very first trip the thing that has stuck with me, the phrase I heard as much as any other, was: “Don’t forget about us.”
So I’m pleased to report that we’ve not forgotten. While I can’t speak for anyone other than my house we have remembered Haiti.
Friends, the Haitian Church is Strong
Much more has awoken in Haiti since January 12th, 2010.
In the immediate aftermath, in the hours, days, and weeks between the terrifying moments of the earthquake and when the emergency aid began to arrive from around the world, the church sprang to action.
Several Haitian pastors have told me that this was a seminal moment for them. The church in Haiti had largely been silent, meek even. It was active but under the radar. But when God’s people saw how He worked through them to meet the needs of the masses they were encouraged that they didn’t need to be quiet anymore. As I’ve written about over and over– when the walls crumbled thousands heard the call of Jesus on their life. Many gave their lives to Jesus because of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. And a Haitian culture who had long depended on voodoo priests and priestesses to keep them safe were quite aware that while the church took care of people, loved everyone, voodoo was largely silent.
Those forces combined to unleash what we see today. A strong, growing, and vibrant Haitian church.
Haiti is Beautiful
Just felt like sharing this moment with the people back home…
Posted by Mel Trollman on Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Over the past six years I’ve made several trip to Haiti. I’m there just enough to see the progress unfold. Mission work in 2010-2012 mainly focused on post-earthquake relief and restoration under the direction of the local church. Beginning in about 2013, short-term mission work shifted it’s efforts to helping local churches meet the needs of rapidly growing congregations. Churches grow and divide to plant more church, grow and divide, grow and divide, and so on.
And just like my trips to Haiti have witnessed this project I’ve had the opportunity to push further and further out from Port-au-Prince to see more and more of God’s work.
And everywhere I go I’m left with this reality: Haiti is beautiful.
The geography is beautiful.
The culture if beautiful.
The people are beautiful.
The language is beautiful.
The food is beautiful.
The church is beautiful.
I’m trying to tell you… it’s beautiful.
Come With Me
As I’ve been involved in Haiti for the past six years I’ve met lots of church leaders who are intrigued, who feel a tug to get engaged with Haitian churches, but are just stuck in knowing what to do next.
That’s why I continue to put my time and energy into vision trips. I believe that partnering with Haitian churches will transform you, the people who go with you, and your entire church. (I’ve seen it over and over!)
But I also know that Haiti is a place you’ll probably need to visit for yourself before you can approach your church (or youth group parents) about going.
So that’s why I’m inviting you to come to Haiti with me on April 2nd-5th, 2016. Together we’ll travel to Port-au-Prince, Haiti to check out ministry opportunities. My friends at Praying Pelican Missions will handle all of the logistics.
Literally, your only responsibility will be:
- Show up at the Port-au-prince airport on Saturday April 2nd around noon.
- Come with a willing heart.
They’ll take care of your transportation, housing, and together we’ll spend four days visiting local churches and exploring what a short-term trip might look like for your church, young adults, youth group, or even a group of families.
Are you interested? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Drop me an email or leave me a comment and let me know.