One of the interesting things about the GO2Haiti Teams serving the people of Haiti is the number of families who serve on these teams. From the first days of Caribbean Vision Ministries families have been a part of our teams. Dads, moms, boys, girls, pre-teens, teens and grandparents have all served God together in Haiti. Needless to say we have seen some interesting dynamics and some great spiritual growth by all concerned.
The recent team of thirteen people from Grace Polaris Church in Westerville, OH had three family units involved on the team. There was a family of six (dad, mom & 4 boys), and one family of two (mother & daughter) and another family of two (mother & son). They all did a great job of serving Jesus for the week.
Perhaps God can use you and your family in Haiti on a short-term team to serve God. The following articles will share the week Polaris Church families served in Haiti.
WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE OF THE POLARIS TEAM?
The Leader of the team, Dustin Speaks, said in his blog, "We didn't go to Haiti as their Saviors. We didn't go to lead them or teach them. We didn't go to do things for them. Instead, we went to learn from them, to pray with them, to love them, and to serve them. In most cases, these brothers and sisters know the Lord in a much more tangible way than many of us, so we had a lot to learn!" You can read his entire blog at:: http://gracepolaris.org/blog/to-haiti-and-back/ ). I would suggest you read it.
Everyone on the team was serving with us in Haiti for the first time except for Dustin so everything presented a different environment for the team from the temperature, transport, food, housing, language, sleeping arrangements, toilet & shower facilities, people and on it goes. But the team did well, adapted to the culture quickly and began to build relationships immediately.
The team worshiped with the children and staff at House of Hope Orphanage on Sunday and Pastor Joly, the Director, shared his testimony of how God prepared him from his youth and called him to be the "father" of all these children. A number of team members shared their testimony with the children as well. After lunch at House of Hope the members journeyed back to the Institute (home base) and prepared for the week. In the evening the team enjoyed a lively church service at Berean Bible Church where the Pastor is Daniel Jean Baptiste, and he is also the Director of Grace Theological Institute. Once again some members of our team shared their testimonies and the entire team sang two songs they had prepared for the congregation. And then the congregation joined in singing with the team in rounds. It was quite impressive.
(Worship on Sunday AM at House of Hope Orphange Pastor Joly listening to Team testimonies)
TIME TO LEARN AND SERVE
Monday and Tuesday were spent ministering at House of Hope Orphanage with an emphasis on teaching about the life changing event of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection.
The team did a wonderful job of sharing the message and the children had a great time as they celebrated with the team. Learning how to communicate in a cross-cultural setting is not easy. The team ate lunch with the children both days and enjoyed some games, sports, and personal interaction both days. In these areas speaking the same language is not always necessary.
Relationships were formed quickly and when the team left on Tuesday there were a lot of tears shed by both the team members and the kids. On Tuesday evening the team celebrated Renel Nicanord's birthday with a song and a cake. It was a total surprise for Renel and brought tears to his eyes. Renel is a quality godly young man who has spent most of his life at the orphanage and is always a big help and a great testimony to our GO2Haiti Teams.
NOW WE KNOW WHAT WE ARE DOING...WE THINK.
On Wednesday & Thursday the team repeated their ministry at Petit Anse church which is commonly called Aviation Church because of its proximity to the airport. Only this time the church building was packed with 100+ children and many adults. Oh boy!
The scene often resembled organized chaos with the telling of the Easter event through the message hidden in eggs, audience participation, and Pastor Daniel translating and acting out the event.
Small groups were great times of teacher-children participation and the Haitian translators did a wonderful job as team members had a great learning experience in cross-cultural communication and relationship building. And at the end of the morning all the children enjoyed a lunch provided by the team. For some children that would be the only meal of the day.
We are thankful for the ministry of the team in this church as it is in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Haiti. Caribbean Vision Ministries & Palmyra, PA Grace Brethren Church sponsor a church and Christian school of 130 children at this location. So the team was laying one more spiritual building block in the lives of the children and staff of this church.
Thursday evening the team hosted a church service at Grace Theological Institute and opened its doors to the neighbors living around the Institute. This has become a regular event with our teams as we continue to lay the foundation for a church on the Institute property. Pastor Daniel brought musical equipment from his church to provide music, the team sang several songs and gave testimonies and Pastor Daniel brought a gospel message. It was a great worship service and a great way to bring the week to a conclusion for the team.
On Friday morning the team packed up and returned to the chilly weather in Ohio but they were different than when they came. God had used them in a great way to minister for the Kingdom of God in Haiti and God had impacted much in their lives as they listened to the voice of God as spoken through the people they had met in Haiti.
Bring your family to Haiti and watch God work!
We would love to have your family serve in Haiti with one of our short-term mission teams. Chuck would be happy to discuss this with you to see how we can help you make this a reality.
Your personal family or your church family can serve in Haiti. We have a place of service for everyone on a short-term missions team. Medical skills? Building skills? Theological Teaching skills? Church ministry skills? Or just a desire to serve people and learn about God's kingdom. We have a place for everyone to serve.
Contact Chuck and discuss how God can use you to touch lives in Haiti.