Categories
haiti

I’m just a guy

My backpack has come out of the garage. In mission trip language that means things are getting close. I’m at the point in preparation where I’m tidying things up before I go. Work stuff, family stuff, medical stuff, buying stuff, gathering stuff, and doing whatever I can to not think too much about where I will be a few days from today.

I’m not quite at the point where I have a checklist but I am starting to think that a checklist is a good idea.

Over the last few weeks I’ve noticed a certain pattern when people find out that I’m headed to Haiti to help with relief efforts. These are common phrases in the conversations.

  • “That is so awesome.”
  • “Are you some kind of expert?”
  • “I watch stuff on TV and wish I could help.”
  • “I’m so glad you are going.”
  • “Man, it’s really awesome that you are going.”

There’s an inference that is it cool that I am going. Though body language would tell me that in the conversation my friends are often thinking, “I wonder if I should go.” Then there is an emphasis on “you.” This internal self-talk continues as I re-assure them that I’m not an expert, I’m not special, I’m not rich, I’m just a guy.

Anyone who has met me knows that I’m an ordinary guy. I’m not a doctor. I’m not specially trained in advanced rescue methods. I’m not physically fit. I’m not prone to do dangerous things. And I’m especially not the type of person who sees people needing help, pulls over the car, and does something right there.

Truth be told: I am a pretty boring friend to have. I tend to dream of nerdy ways to change the world I live in.

What’s extraordinary about my trip to Haiti is that someone asked me to go. It’s not extraordinary that I am going. I kind of think anyone asked to go, would go. That’s why I’ve been saying, “First me, then you.

So I invite you to follow my story as i go. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time you already know I’m ordinary. If you haven’t yet met me face-to-face and are new to the blog, just trust everyone else… I’m just a guy.

3 Ways You Can Get Involved

  1. Follow my story here on my blog and at YouthSpecialties.com
  2. Follow the teams stories on Facebook and Twitter.
  3. Join our prayer email list to get daily updates and specific things you can pray for. (see below)





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Categories
Church Leadership haiti

Preparing for Haiti

I chose to be just crazy enough. More importantly, I want to encourage others to be crazy enough to recognize that they can change the world. — Adam McLane, August 28th 2009

In moments like this I feel like there is little I can do. While I would love to hop on a plane and “go help” the truth is I don’t have any skills that are actually useful. (I doubt they need a blogger) I will do the next best thing. I will give what I can and commit to joining the people of Haiti who stretch out their arms and call out Jesus’ name. — Adam McLane, January 13th 2010

It’s now been a couple weeks that I’ve known I was headed to Haiti to help in relief efforts. In the course of that time I’ve been all over the place emotionally. I’m scared, I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’m worried, I want to just jump on the plane, I pretend like it’s 10 years away, I shop for stuff I think I may need, I change the subject when people bring it up, I watch more CNN than humanly necessary.

Back on January 13th I had no idea I would be heading to Haiti less than one month later.

But it is true. On February 11th I will land in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and begin an overland journey to earthquake stricken areas of Haiti. In my mind I keep hearing reporters say, “Haiti is a dangerous place on a good day, and certainly this is no good day for Haiti.” (While I am not an expert in rapid response relief, I’m happy to be traveling with a team who is!)

And yet I hear the voice of Jesus over that. “Love your neighbor as yourself.

On top of the obvious, there are a couple other elements that have me excited for this trip.

  1. The team assembled by Adventures in Missions for this trip is crazy diverse! The first time I talked to Marko about the trip he joked that when talking to a couple other bloggers one of them said, “We’d all just have to get together and hug it out.” We come from different denominations, liberal/conservative stripes, theological heritages, ministry-types, and even ministry companies who compete against one another. And yet, the need in Haiti is way more important than anything that should/could potentially divide us.
  2. The team is calling you to Haiti. As soon as I told others that I was going they asked me, “How can I go too?” This is one of the secondary purposes of the Advance Team. We are going first, we are exploring what you can do, we are answering your questions, and we are imploring (begging?) you to come to Haiti with a team soon. That resonates strongly to how I encounter the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I long to see Jesus not just regenerate the hearts of the people we encounter but also the places we go and even the institutions which seem beyond renewal.

Soon the world’s cameras will leave Haiti. We will not have daily updates from Port-au-Prince. What will remain when the spotlight leaves is the hard work of rebuilding a country brought to its knees. This will be done by the Haitian people, NGOs, and the church.

I am going to Haiti because God’s people in Haiti cried out in Jesus’ name for help. I am one little tiny part of that very big response from Jesus to those cries in the darkness on January 12th, 2010.

And it is my hope that this little diverse team of people who is laying aside their differences for the sake of the churches response to the crisis will begin an amazing opportunity for Jesus’ people to change the world’s mind about believers.

What would happen if tens of thousands of God’s people laid aside their differences and came together in one response to change on country forever?

What would happen? I don’t really know. But I do know that it’s going to start with you.