During the next 18 days, I'm going to try to spend some time preparing myself spiritually for this trip. One of the first questions I was asked when I began telling people I was going was, "Do you believe God is leading you in this?"
I have been drawn into compassion for those who are considered "less than" by the rest of society for as long as I can remember. I learned early in my Christian walk that God had given me a gift of mercy and a heart that loves rather than one that judges. These are spiritual gifts that He has granted so that I can serve him. My home has always been open to anyone needing a soft place to fall and it gives me joy to be the caretaker. This is the role He has placed me in with both my family and in my church.
I have served in my church as a missions teacher to young girls. I've supported missionaries in financies and prayer. I've been on trips with the youth of my old church to hold VBS and build in Mexico and on the Navaho reservation in New Mexico and Nevada.
I returned to school in my late 40s and received an education in social work. And though I am not working in that field, my heart is drawn to opportunities to empower others to effect change in they own lives as well as do what I can to advocate for those who are marginalized by society.
I tell you these things not in a prideful way, but to tell you that this is how God created me. This is the person He created me to be: A servant to those who the world has forgotten. So when this opportunity to go to Haiti presented itself, I didn't hesitate to say, SEND ME.
I'm not going to Haiti to show the people we'll be working with a better way to do things. I am going to learn from them and partner with them in providing for the children that have been placed in their care. Working together to find ways to give these children a future of hope. If we can raise up this next generation of Haitians to be adults who are educated and healthy and who love the Lord, that will be the best way to effect change in Haiti.
God had also given me a vision that this will not be the only trip I make to Haiti. My prayer is that He will clarify that in the time I spend there and the weeks afterward as I reflect on my experience. But my heart is already open and willing to just follow where He leads.
If you are reading this, I ask you to please pause and say a prayer for the people we'll be partnering with, for the children in the orphanage in Gonaives, and for the team I'll be traveling with. Pray for safe travels, for us to be led by God's Spirit, and for Him to be at the center of all we experience there.
Grace to you,