One Life Adventures heads to Northwest Haiti Christian Mission in three weeks. Over the last few months we have seen God do amazing things. He has brought people from two churches and four states together to form a team to tackle numerous projects. He has provided funds for people who had no idea how they would pay for the trip. He has brought unity and a sense of purpose to this team. But yesterday, God’s provision took on a whole nutha level of amazing!!
As we have planned for this mission trip, we have asked for donations of money, clothes, supplies and anything else that might be used to serve the people of Haiti. Autumn, the therapy director for the Miriam Center had some items shipped to us that we are going to carry in, and then we also bought some items that would need to be shipped. That was pretty easy and straight forward. But then, God showed up.
One of our trip participants, Karen, had asked for donations of items from parents at the pre-school where she works. She had some clothes and diapers and other stuff that you would expect. One woman heard about what we were doing and where we were going and told Karen she had some medical supplies that maybe we could use in Haiti.
She showed up at Karen’s house with about fifty cases of items. She had pads to put on beds for children and adults who deal with night-time issues. She had feeding tubes for patients that couldn’t eat. And she had 27 cases of high calorie, high nutrition formula for people who are in desperate need of calories.
That is all really impressive and amazing until you find out that rest of the story. You see formula in Haiti is like gold. It is so expensive that often missions and orphanages have to go to the Dominican Republic to buy it. And if it is a special type formula like the one that was donated, it is almost impossible to get your hands on. This formula is so great because one tablespoon is 500 calories. Now, for Americans that doesn’t sound like a very good deal; but for Haitians clinging to life, that is exactly what they need to get their weight up and to get the nutrition to get healthy.
The other aspect to remember is that this was donated formula. Karen looked it up on-line and the cost of each case is $140.00. We had 27 cases DONATED!!! That is $3,800.00 of donated formula that will keep children and at risk adults alive. Yesterday we delivered 1,616 pounds of food and supplies to be flown to Haiti by Missionary Flights International. Another God moment!!
We remember the stories in scripture of how God provided for people in their time of need. He fed the Israelites manna and quail in the desert. Jesus himself fed thousands of people with just a few fish and a few loaves of bread. I have discovered that God is still in the food service business, and he is feeding people today with modern-day miracles.
Today, would you please stop and thank our Lord that people in Haiti will have nutrition they need because people they have never met, moved by the hand of God that they cannot see, used what they had to make sure that life could go on.
One Life Adventures because Every Life Matters!!!
I will never forget the moment: I was standing in the middle of a field in Haiti completely overwhelmed with emotion. It wasn’t tired or hot or hungry. It was pain and frustration and calling. It was the moment of recognition in my life that there were two directions to go: obedience or rebellion.
It was July, 2010. I had come to Haiti because I needed a break from my church ministry. I was there with a group of people I had never met before. We came from all over the United States and at least one “Soul Sister” from Canada. We became close as we shoveled dirt, played with kids in the ocean and took crazy pictures of the Miriam Center kids sticking their tongues out at us. (This is a special pose they learned from their mommy, Courtney!)
In that field as we heard about the dreams and vision for a new Miriam Center and a new place for these precious children God spoke to my heart in a powerful way: “what are you going to do?” I had no idea. Honestly I had only come to Haiti for a renewal and to work in anonymity. I had no intentions of being connected. That’s the beauty of God, he has plans we will never fully understand.
As I was confronted, I began to weep at what was, is and could be in that place. What was, at least for me, was a nation of poverty, brokenness and pain. It still is in so many ways, but up until that moment it was just a place “over there.” On that field, in that place, on that day, it became more.
What is, is the reality that there are incredible servants of Christ, doing impossible work, in impossible situations with no fanfare and little earthly recognition. I began to put faces to those who serve, Courtney, Melonnie, Grant, Janiel, Maureen, and so many others. I began to put faces to those they serve: Jean, Steven, DenDen and all my “Haitian Children.” I cried.
What could be is a focused, intentional partnership between my life and the life of Northwest Haiti Christian Mission, it’s staff, and the people of Haiti. In that moment I made the decision that I was going all in to help serve this place. That night in our team meeting I announced that I was in. I came home and announced to LifeQuest that I was passionate about this place, these people and this ministry and that I was going to lead our church to serve here at some level.
In 2011, three of us went. Dr. Kris Walker, Carlos Kreamer and myself traveled again to NWHCM with the goal of doing medical evaluations and charts for as many kids as possible. God sovereignly doubled our team to include another doctor, Cece, a nursing student, Cayla, and a sign language interpreter, Brianna, so that we could accomplish more than we had planned. Team Lollipop had an awesome time serving the mission.
Now, in June 2012, 28 people from three states and two churches are traveling again. One friend, Brea from my trip in 2010 is joining us from Colorado. Carlos is returning with me again this year. And my son Zach is going with me to meet all of my incredible buddies at the Miriam Center. We will be doing Vacation Bible Schools, physical therapy, construction, and medical care. And along the way we will love on and play with as many children as possible.
God took my dream and has done more than I could imagine. It is amazing to me that a place I didn’t even know existed two years ago is now so engrained in my that I feel compelled to drag so many others to experience the joy of life in such a poor, broken, needy, desperately beautiful place.
So, be careful about what dreams you may have. God just may call you to bring them to life.
This is a picture of the playroom at The Miriam Center at Northwest Haiti Christian Mission. I have had some great moments in there.
This place houses some incredible special needs children who live in Haiti. Without NWHCM, most of these children wouldn’t be here today. One Life Adventures is made up of a group from Sent Life Church in Port St. Lucie, Florida and LifeQuest Church from Palm City, FL. We will be traveling June 19-26 to the mission to serve the mission and the community. The goal of One Life Adventures is to make an impact in the name of Jesus on the lives of these precious people in one of the poorest sections of Haiti. We are using the simple motto “One Life Matters” because in our world and culture today it is so easy to forget that every life is an important life. You can follow our journey through this last month of training and as we make this trip. Each step of the way we will update, post pictures and list prayer needs. I pray that you will join us on this incredible adventure to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the people of Haiti.
For years the U.S. Navy used the slogan “It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure!” in their ad campaigns. The idea was to portray that life int he Navy was just just about doing something to get paid, but it was about seeing the world, defending freedom and being a person of honor. So, what does that have to do with One Life Adventures? Well, we believe the same thing.
As followers of Christ, we are not called simply to a “lifestyle” or a “belief.” We are called to an adventure of pursuing our relationship with Christ and demonstrating his love to others. Following Christ is not simply about what you believe, what you do or don’t do, or whether you go to church or not. Following Christ is about swimming against the flow of culture, standing for something bigger than yourself and investing in the lives of those who are most vulnerable to the forces of life around them.
One Life Adventures is based on the scripture passage of Ephesians 4:3-6:
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called ; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
What Paul instructed the church to do was to stand united under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the sovereign authority of our Heavenly Father. In our world today it is much more common for churches to fight, gossip and work against one another than to stand with one another. But we are going in a different direction.
Birthed out of ministry experience that has grown with other pastors and churches, One Life Adventures is committed to the idea that we are stronger together. We stand united and focused to be the church of Jesus Christ in power, strength and unity. By working together we can accomplish more, serve more people, and mobilize gifts that we cannot grasp on our own. One Life Adventures is about putting our lives together in a united effort to model the unity and love of Jesus to a broken and needy world.
One Life Adventures wants to see Jesus Christ lifted up in all areas, with all people, in all nations, for all eternity. So, it’s more than and lifestyle…it’s an adventure!!!