The travelers, aka the Visiting Team, also have areas of pre-trip focus. However, once on the ground it will be an all-hands effort for each event (i.e. the team (15) will stay together vice dividing up--except in the case of Bible Training Center instruction).
Bible Training Center – The Haiti Bible Training Center (BTC) exists to train young men to become pastors and to go and plant churches throughout Haiti. Our own Assistant Pastor and another team member have been invited to teach them from the book of Ezekiel. These men go through the entire Bible, an intensive training regimen, in one year. Once complete, they “fan out” to plant churches and serve the Haitian people. So it is a great honor to be asked to teach these men.
Orphanage – We are working to determine specific needs at the orphanage(s) that we hope to visit. Once the needs are identified, we will communicate these to you, so that you can participate in meeting that need. The Supply Team will assist in that effort. We’ll be stopping in at one or more orphanages to see, interact, play with, and maybe even teach the kids that are there. Some are disabled and missionaries who come to play are a welcome respite from the daily routine. The people who work there just can’t provide all of the kids with the attention they require. True, it’s a short stay for us but there are other groups who rotate in and the kids at least see that there are people who care.
Vacation Bible School – We’ll be teaching during the morning hours over the course of 5 days. Last year’s effort started out strong and the word (the Word?) spread. We ended up serving about 180 kids, guardians each day. This is a very BIG deal as it is an opportunity to share the Gospel in a land where voodoo is alive and well. VBS and the Supply Team will work together to provide estimated requirements as we desire to couple the teaching with provision of basic necessities. Our VBS theme is “God is Love” .
Tent City Outreach – “Tent City” is nice way of saying, side by side makeshift shelters with no floor, no running water, no electricity, nor even much of a breeze. That’s part of why we have such a large supply list. Even as large as it is, the demand is far above the supply. We may not live to see the fruit but we sure are going to spread some seed!
Media – This blog is part of that effort. We’ll be attempting to communicate through this blog prior to, during, and after completion of the trip (after action report) to provide a more up to date status than would otherwise be available. The Wi-Fi connectivity is likely to be slow but we’ll try to keep you updated with pictures and text as often as we can.
Fundraising - Fundraising letters are being written so some of you may see those. Bottom line, it costs dollars to do this sort of outreach and even if we could walk to Florida, not all of us have Diana Nyad –like swimming skills. So that leaves air transportation and, since airlines are not benevolent institutions, we too have to pay.
Along these lines, you will see lots of different but related efforts toward the fundraising goal. The reason we do these is to defray some of the cost on the individual travelers. You’ll see that the snack bar is an obvious fundraising arm. Other events are being planned so stay tuned for those. Support where you can, please.
Team Building – Nothing will jack up a team-oriented event like a lack of cohesion. To minimize that potential, each visitor is assisting in the preparation and execution one aspect of the mission and in fundraising – like manning the snack bar! We have two social gatherings and lots of progress meetings. Did I mention homework? Spiritual preparation of the Body is critical! With that in mind, we have read, studied, and discussed Matthew 14:13-36; Matthew 15:29-39 considering how these apply to us individually, as a team, and to the Haiti 2014 mission specifically.
Our next assignment is to read, journal, and pray through Matthew 9:35-38, 10:5-42... and how that impacts us as individuals and the Haiti Mission.