Megan and I just returned from a two-week trip to Haiti Tuesday night. In February, 2010 I left a country brought to it’s knees by a devastating earthquake with a simple promise: I’ll keep coming back until it’s clear I’m no longer needed.
Since then I’ve seen the needs of Haitian churches adapt. Immediately after the quake the churches task focused on disaster relief– meeting the physical needs of the community, literally providing food and shelter to the displaced, caring for and protecting the orphaned and the widowed. As those needs were met the local church found opportunities to minister to the spiritual needs of the community, serving those who mourned the loss of family and those struggling with the lingering question: Why did I survive but not ____?
And now, with the earthquake in the rearview mirror and churches full as a culture embraced a church that truly works as Good News in the Neighborhood, the Haitian church is experiencing a new challenge.
Actually, it’s an old challenge.
Will Haitian church leadership stand on their own? Or will new dependencies on outside help re-emerge?
The reason we do short-term missions through Praying Pelican Missions the way we do– where we quite literally serve under the authority of local church leadership– isn’t because we can’t do everything. It’s because we want to strengthen the local church. We want to do short-term mission trips in a way that builds up… not builds dependencies.
The 2010 earthquake destroyed more than buildings, it also shook loose old habits, finally putting to rest something we refer to as the “White Savior Complex” where outsiders come and do stuff.
That’s where you and I come in
This is the heart of PPM missionaries Almando and Cassie Jean-Louis. They want to continually build into their staff and partner pastors– encouraging and empowering them– so that the work of PPM is never seen as outsiders bringing help we couldn’t do ourselves and is instead legitimate partnership.
Today I’m asking that you consider joining me in helping to raise about $9000. These monies will be used to gather, invest in, encourage, and build up two different groups of critical leaders– the staff that leads trips in Haiti and their partner pastor couples.
The staff retreat is about $3000. This will get the staff together one last time at the end of the summer to celebrate all that God has done through them over the summer, ending the season full of encouragement and leadership development.
The pastor retreat is about $6000. This will help gather all of the Haitian church partnership pastors, and their wives, for a couple of days. There they will cast vision for the continued development of the partnership, share best practices, pray together, and build up unity among them. When I talked to the pastor’s about this gathering the #1 thing they looked forward to about it was the unity… no where else in their lives are they able to reach across denominational lines and pray for one another, get to know one another. It’s truly a special and unique gathering.
Here’s How to Give
Both of these retreats are coming up quickly. I’d love it if you could help me make these happen with a gift in any amount.
Make sure to add a note to indicate that the funds are for the PPM Haiti Staff Retreat. If you want more information about the cost of these events or just want more information about them, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me through my blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.