Hang On Tight… Haiti’s Callin’

haiti-mapOn Monday night, the Witness Committee at First Presbyterian Church (that is, the committee which oversees all missions foreign and domestic within our church) formally approved a joint mission trip between Auburn and Alabama Presbyterian Campus Ministries to go to Haiti from March 13-21, 2010. It’ll be Westminster Fellowship’s first international Spring Break mission trip…

Oh boy.

I feel like I need to back up, though, to offer you some perspective. This summer, Auburn’s PC(USA) campus minister, the lovely Rachel Winter, and Alabama’s somewhat less astute PC(USA) campus minister, your’s truly, met up a few times to start thinking about the 2009-10 school year. Eventually, we came around to a discussion on what we wanted to do for Spring Break. We agreed that we wanted to go international. We did Orlando last year, which was awesome… gleaned 20,000 lbs. of tangelos and did some other work with various ministries. But we sensed the call to outside the States this year.

So, we talked about Mexico, Central America, and a couple of Caribbean countries along the lines of the Bahamas, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic. However, for whatever reason (perhaps stemming from ingesting some form of illegal hallucinogen… but, of course, I’m kidding, b/c this is a pastor’s blog, and pastors don’t say and do stuff like that), both Rachel and I felt a mysterious tugging to look into the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere: that would be Haiti.

I remember, during one particular conversation with Rachel in a local coffeeshop, chuckling and thinking to myself, “You must be crazy. HAITI? Haven’t there been revolts and massacres and all kinds of craziness down there? And you want to take students there? You want to put your job on the line for this?! Get off your crazy pills, Goodlet.”

But then we looked into it some more. And we made some calls. And I remembered hearing from friends about the people down there and the experiences they had. And we made contact with an organization called Hearts With Haiti, based out of a PC(USA) church in Raleigh, NC, who eased our fears and answered our questions (and agreed to send a guide with us on our trip). And the more and more we thought about it, the more we felt convicted that if Haiti’s where God wants us to be, then Haiti it is.

This is the first of what will probably be numerous blog entries about this trip. I feel so many emotions when I think about it: excitement, anticipation, fear, naivete. But, most of all, I’m curious to see how this trip will affect my life, my worldview, my students, and our faith. I don’t know what’ll happen. I don’t know what to expect. Will we plan things meticulously and dot our i’s and cross our t’s? Heck yeah. But that doesn’t mean we should know exactly what to expect.

I’ve heard a lot of people ask the question of why one should go abroad to engage in missions when there’s so much that can be done here in our backyard. Great, great question. I can’t place enough emphasis upon thinking globally and acting locally. But I also am one who believes strongly in learning things through rote experience, and I know that much will be gleaned from our trip down there. Whether that means listening to our brothers and sisters living in abject poverty and hearing their story or understanding what role we may/may not play in their life situation or experiencing a life beyond/without borders, I know we WILL learn.

As for what that looks like, stay tuned. Or, better yet, hang on tight, b/c Haiti’s callin’.

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~ by presbytide on September 17, 2009.

2 Responses to “Hang On Tight… Haiti’s Callin’”

  1. wasn’t God without Boarders a recent Montreat theme?

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