The Wright Baptist Church team should be in the United States by now, and hopefully home late this evening.
Report by Dr. Jeremy S. Gates
My goodness, every time I sit down to blog about my/our experiences here in Haiti, I struggle to find the words to properly express how amazing God is. Today (August 4) began for us at 5:30 a.m. We woke up, had our coffee and light breakfast before packing up and heading up the mountain to Jerusalem II Church. It took a couple of hours to climb the mountain and make our way over the terrain to the church. The trek is not easy, and it’s a challenge for the healthiest of persons. The views are absolutely stunning. Along the way we encountered people coming out of their houses and huts to greet us. We had the opportunity to give out some of the Manna Packs (nutrient dense rice) from Love A Child and Feed My Starving Children Ministries. To see the joy on the many faces as they receive the food makes all the effort getting it up to them worth it!
Once we arrived at the church, we spent a couple of hours with the children doing music, coloring, flying some kites we took with us, and playing games with a huge parachute and beach ball. We also distributed the Crocs shoes that so many of you donated. Wow! All of the children were so happy to receive a new pair of shoes, but one girl really touched my heart. We were nearing the end of distributing the shoes and we had one pair left that was a child size 2. This beautiful little girl was called up front by the pastor of the church (I had him help me keep order and distribute the shoes). She meekly walked up and had on a pair of little pink Croc shoes that looked like there was no sole on the bottom whatsoever. Her old shoes literally looked like she had taken them out of a trash heap and put on her feet. She slipped off the old pair and put on the new pair we gave her, and the smile that came across her face was priceless. I took a picture of her in her new shoes standing by the old pair. The simple joy in having a new pair of shoes. I didn’t hear any fussing or complaining about “not the right color” or “I don’t like that style…” Just a smile and a simple “merci.”
After the noon hour we hiked back down the mountain to the mission house and spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with our kids in the yard. I asked one of the team members, “Why don’t we do this at home? Why don’t we take several hours and just hang out with our family and friends and enjoy the simple pleasure of fellowship?” I hate to admit it, but it’s because we tend to get so distracted by living the “American Dream.” Hmmmm…we have so much, but do we? Once again I’m reminded of the importance of investing in what really matters: faith, family, relationships, and the legacy we leave.
If you want an absolutely life-changing experience, I strongly urge you to pray about coming to Haiti with Truth Ministries. It’s not camp, it’s not a retreat, it’s not a vacation or a time to “get away and relax.” It’s work. It takes effort. It takes praying, planning, and spiritual preparation. If it was easy, we wouldn’t need to depend on God’s strength, wisdom, and protection. But I can absolutely guarantee you it’s worth every bit of investment you make. And the more you give, the more God pours back into you. The smartest investment you will ever make, the one you will always get the biggest return on, is investing in the Kingdom of God!