Monday, April 30, 2012

My Haiti Adventure

My life is extremely fulfilling.  I have an amazing wife and two beautiful daughters, who all bring an insane amount of joy into my daily life.  I’m excited every time I enter my house.  And although I would love to spend more time with my family, I also have excitement when I leave the house.  I have an engaging job that lines up extremely well with my heart and passions.  So no complaints on my daily routine whatsoever. 

Yet I knew deep down that I could not pass up an opportunity that was presented to me a few months ago.  “Would you be willing to recruit a team from the Men’s ministry to go to Haiti this summer?”  I was very willing to do that, as I have wanted to see more men engaged in the church, both locally and globally.  But I couldn’t shake the feeling that I might need to recruit myself.  When I brought up the idea to Tatum, it was a short response.  “I don’t even need to pray about it.  You should go.”  Great, now I have no excuses, unless I can convince myself that God does NOT want me to go.  Uphill climb, there.  Then she added, “I think this is exactly what our marriage needs!”  Me leaving for a week?!  Possibly.  But I knew exactly what she was referring to.

Tatum and I love being parents.  Would not trade it for anything.  Yet it comes with loss for us.  We are both driven and passionate people (one of us expresses that a bit more outwardly than the other…), and the freedom in our schedule is quite limited in this life stage.  In the midst of changing diapers and 7pm bed times, its easy to turn inward and have part of your heart become numb.  We start thinking about what school system is the best, and the meal schedule for the week, and when can we justify replacing that piece of furniture.  Nothing inherently wrong, but thoughts disconnected from what is going on in the world around us.  Tatum and I have been longing to have our hearts engaged again.  For our hearts to be broken for those that are in need.  For our perspective to be shattered and rebuilt!  We can objectively know things, but sometimes our hearts and eyes need to see it first hand.  Although Tatum cannot realistically go on a trip right now, a week trip to Haiti seemed to be the perfect answer with a feasible time frame. 

So from July 21st through 28th, I will be co-leading a team of 15 men to Haiti to come alongside a great organization that our church has joined forces with throughout the past few years:  Children of the Nations (COTN).  They are in multiple countries, including the Dominican Republic, which gave them a great opportunity to aid the country after the earthquake.  They are now trying to establish a ministry within Haiti, and our team is going to help them in any way that we can.  This will include:

1.    Container
Flood packaged a shipping container with 150,000 meals and other crucial resources to send to Haiti.  Our team will be helping to distribute those resources to those who need them.
2.    Children
There are many children without father figures, so hopefully the gift of presence will be a huge blessing.
3.    Construction
We are hoping to have some hands-on projects there as well to utilize our biceps.
4.    Casting Vision (needed the “c”)
Hopefully our team of leaders will be able to dream of ways to come alongside of Haiti and COTN in future endeavors.

I have loved the opportunity to invite other men onto this team and to see who God has brought together for this adventure.  A lot of key leaders within our church!  I truly believe we will be a huge blessing to COTN and Haiti, but then also in our church when we return.  If you know me, one of my main passions in life is to see more men engaged in the church.  I think this could be a catalyst to see that happen!

Prayer requests:
1.    Haiti and COTN
2.    The men on the trip, and the men of our church
3.    My heart
4.    My family while I am gone

I will keep you updated.  I cherish all prayers for this trip.  You can also visit my fundraising page if you feel so inclined to give financially.  The cost of the trip is $2235, and I need to raise that by June 20th.  Thanks for considering!

Fundraising Page:
•    100% of the donation goes toward the trip
•    Page has details for credit card, paypal, or check