Contributed by: Christa Freyhof
This trip, in several ways, felt somewhat like an exploratory trip. For many of our team members, it was not only their first time in Haiti, but it was also their first time being part of a global outreach team. It felt exploratory also in the sense that we did a wide variety of activities on this trip including home visits, handing out FMSC meals, hosting a VBS, sharing a meal with the church members, attending church, touring the Moringa fields, visiting the market, listening in on the Restavek seminar, and also attending the event at Chelo’s church that was put on by Grace Bath. All of these experiences gave our people a lot of opportunities. It also helped me, as the mobilization pastor, to see where and how our church is called to invest further into Haiti.
In many cases, I think it’s easy to feel more purposeful when we are part of trips that involve a work project. This trip, however, proved to be most purposeful in the times that we spent building relationships. Two situations stand out most to me. First, our time in Total. When we took the time to really sit, share, and listen to the people there, we learned that we really aren’t that different from one another. Their is brokenness in that community because so many of the folks there have misunderstood or been mislead in understanding who Jesus is and what The Church is really about. This seems to be an underlining theme of folks who enter our doors at our church here in Houston as well. I’m sure that this is the case for many churches. People need to know that Jesus came for the lost & broken. He didn’t come to provide us with a polished church of people who appear to have it all together on the exterior. It took some time helping our friends in Total to understand this when we visited that day, but several of them truly let their walls down as our team began to share our struggles in life, doubts in our faith, and times when we’ve felt disregarded. The enemy would like to convince us that our circumstances are all too different to relate to one another so therefore we should keep them hidden in the dark. HOWEVER, God’s Truth that is written in Ephesians 5 concerning that we, as children of God, must walk in the light, became a reality for our team while in Total.
The second thing that stands out to me most is Olgy! We had no idea that we were entering the house of the man who had so much hatred towards the church, Chelo, and CPR-3. God clearly lead us there with those FMSC meals as a way to help him understand that God does care for him. I don’t know how Olgy is doing today, but what I do know is that when we first walked towards his home, he did not want us there. He had a wall up around his heart. As we began to talk with him and ask him about his family, his wall slowly started to come down. There was a visible difference in his face and demeanor. All I know is that I felt a love and connection with him that could have only been possible because of the Spirit of God. I don’t know if Olgy has fully surrendered, but I do know that seeds were planted and began growing in his heart that day.
Overall, our trip to Haiti was great. The next time we are there, I think we will focus most on doing the work that requires us to be intentional with relationships there. I don’t know what that means for our next team or how that will look, but it is my heart and our church’s heart to really invest relationally with the folks in Haiti more than anything.
Christa served in Haiti as a part of an Experience Haiti Team. Find out more about trips to Haiti here.