So, on Feb 11-17, I will be taking a short-term missionary journey to Haiti with a credible mission organization that has had a long-term presence in the area. This opportunity was presented to me last week and there was no way I could say no– from a theological, personal, or even logical standpoint.
Why did I say yes?
01. I have no short term missionary experience. My wife, on the other hand, has been going on mission trips since she was 15 years old. She has many-many mission trips under her belt and her passport is very colorful with stamps from all around the world. So she is really qualified, and I am not. I feel like Moses when God asks him to go to Egypt and to talk to Pharaoh. Moses admittedly stated he is not an eloquent man and has a major shuddering problem (Exodus 4.10). Moses and myself are asking the same question of: Why us, Lord? Then the Lord replies: Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you….” (Exodus 4.11-12)
02. I am just an average dude with no specialized skill set. I want to see firsthand how the Haitian Christians are responding to this national disaster and to assess how the youth of America can serve and help in the future. I want to see if the experts and news reporters are wrong (reportedly, only specialized help is needed in Haiti at this time, so “average joes” are discouraged from going). I also want see if Haiti needs more passionate and compassionate Christ followers to provide non-skilled relief and hospitality.
03. Nobody told me no. My wife said I had to go. My church said I had to go. My schedule had no conflicts, so it seemed that I could not say no and I have to go!
04. My world needs to be hijacked. I am rolling on autopilot, doing the youth pastor thing in churchland, in a beautiful location. I need to get out of the boat, get perspective, and get my hands dirty. I know this is a dangerous thing to request, but I am desiring and longing for a good swift kick in the butt.
My conclusion: I am just an average dude who loves people and is willing to go to Haiti. I don’t think my nonprofessional skill set, nor my lack of short term missionary experience disqualifies me from going, or should stop me from saying yes.
“God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!” Rom 8:14 (The Message)
My specific prayer requests:
* I will need to be really discerning, cautious, and aware. I don’t want to get in the way.
* I put the armor of God on every day (Ephesians 6.10-18). Rumor has it the spiritual warfare there is gnarly and nasty.
* I don’t get stage fright. I can talk a big game in my theology, blog, and ministry, but when it is game time will I fold or buckle?
* I will need to be a great team player. I pull my own weight and be willing to help others both on my team and the Haitian people.
* I want to see beauty in the Haitian culture and people.
* God gives me His heart for Haiti.
The details are not all clear to me just yet. It still feels like fantasy land. All I know is that I will be serving the people of Haiti with a team of youth workers, and preparing the way for youth groups to follow as the hands and feet of Jesus.
I will be reflecting about my Haiti experience and encounters via this blog. More to come….