The following is a guest post by a student in our ministry, Lacey Olson, who recently went on her first missions trip to Haiti. We hope it encourages you to take a step of faith and help those in need. Make sure you check out Harvest Missions and Relief Corps for upcoming trips and for more information!
“Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43-45).
Everywhere you turn, there is a hand stretched out waiting to be held. Children naked waiting to be clothed. People starving and dehydrated. The number one thing kids ask for in Haiti is water, the second is for your attention. During my time in Haiti, I spent a lot of time at the orphanage. The first day stepping into the orphanage every eye was on us, in less than 20 minutes every hand was on us. Even though the kids and I didn’t completely understand each other’s language, we understood we loved each other and knew how to show it. There are kids who will stick with you for a good while, then go onto another person, but there are those who really warm up to you and stay by your side until it’s time for you to leave.
For me, that was one of the hardest parts about leaving Haiti. I didn’t want to be someone who just comes and goes and forgets about them. Someone who allows them to open up to me, grow a love for me, then I just leave and disappear from their lives. So when it was time to finally say goodbye it felt just like that—it was an emotional time for me and the kids. I remember crying with them but telling them this isn’t the end. Instead of me being mad about leaving them, I started thanking God for allowing them to be a part of my life, and putting a place for them in my heart. Saying that final goodbye took place on a Saturday, because we were supposed to be home Sunday morning. By God’s amazing grace, there was a snowstorm where we were planning to fly to and all flights got canceled. We were blessed with two more days in Haiti. Of course we spent the next day at the orphanage. The kids were shocked but so happy to see us again. I was nervous at first to go because saying goodbye the first time was already hard on all of us, I couldn’t imagine the second goodbye. But, God had a plan and worked it out by allowing that final goodbye to be much better than the first. Also I knew I had to go again, because being blessed one extra day is better than not seeing them again. During the time in Haiti God blessed me with such an amazing team, that I will always remember. Before leaving Haiti, I was sad, but as well I knew it was only the beginning. The beginning for my friendships with the people I met in Haiti, along with the team God placed me with. Even if I may never see them in this lifetime again, I know one day I will see them in Heaven and spend it with them for all eternity.
Since coming home from Haiti, God has been showing me that He has placed me where I am for a reason. Your mission is where you live—who you live with, and who you live around. For me it was easier to be in Haiti and joyfully volunteer to clean, do dishes, and be nice to everyone I saw and came in contact with, along with serving those in the same house as me, than to be that way at home. Some of us don’t realize that we are in the mission field already, and that is where God has placed us! The way we act when on a missions trip, that’s the way we need to be right here in our own home!
Thank you for taking your time to read about my first experience in Haiti. I hope this has ministered to you in whatever way God has intended. I also hope to someday read your blog on your first experience in the mission field!
Since 1990, Harvest Crusades has put on large-scale evangelistic outreaches around the United States and in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. More than 4,405,000 people have attended a Harvest Crusades event in person, and more than 370,900 people have registered decisions of faith in Jesus Christ.
Harvest Crusades events are designed to be opportunities for Christians to invite family members, coworkers, friends, and acquaintances to hear the life-changing message of the gospel in an environment that is entertaining, yet nonthreatening.
The cornerstone of each event is the presentation of the gospel by Pastor Greg Laurie. Biblically-sound and culturally relevant, Pastor Greg brings a clear gospel message, providing an opportunity for people to make a decision to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
This year, Harvest is hosting two outreaches, taking place in Anaheim, CA on August 25-26 and Los Angeles, CA on September 8-9. In addition to this, Harvest is reaching out like never before. On August 26, Harvest is launching a nation-wide outreach called Harvest America, where the gospel message will reach millions through our modern technology. What exactly is Harvest America? Here’s how it is going to work:
What if on One Day, churches from all over the nation brought in the Harvest Crusade and streamed it live right into their church? At last year’s Harvest, individuals watched the live stream broadcast from every state of the union and 32 countries around the world! Now, with HD-quality video available through Internet streaming and satellite, people could fill churches, theaters, coffee houses, and living rooms, linking together as One Church in thousands of locations.
For what purpose? One Message! The only message that can save a soul—the simple proclamation of the gospel, which will be given from a gifted evangelist, Greg Laurie.
And if this is repeated over the next three years, we could conservatively see more than five million people in live-stream events and effectively see some 500,000 professions of faith! That’s more than we’ve seen in our 22-year history of Harvest Crusades!
Harvest America has the potential to be one of the largest evangelical outreaches in all of history! That’s truly remarkable! And here at Activate, we have the opportunity to be involved with it and support our Senior Pastor, Greg Laurie, as he preaches the gospel. For both Harvest Crusades, we are taking a team of 50 people down to Anaheim and LA to invite people at the beaches, malls, and city hot spots to the events, and attempt to move beyond an invitation to a conversation where we can share the gospel with them. Please pray for Pastor Greg, the Harvest Crusade team, the SWAT Team, and all of the people who will hear the gospel message!
The Activate High School ministry is linking shields with Harvest Relief Corps to minister to the people of Haiti on August 5-14. Sixteen students and leaders will be ministering and serving in Haiti as they seek to be a part of the work that God has been doing there since the devastating earthquake in 2010. It is going to be a blessed venture as the students give of their time, resources, and energy to embody the gospel of Christ to a nation in ruin. Please keep these students and leaders in prayer as they share the gospel with their words and show the gospel through their works!
To get a glimpse of what they will be doing, check out this recap video from a previous mission trip to Haiti.
The Merriab-Webster Dictionary defines worldview as “a comprehensive conception or apprehension of the world especially from a specific standpoint.” In other words, your worldview is the way in which you view the world. Like those who use glasses and look through a pair of lens to see, your worldview is the “lens” through which you see and understand life.
If you take a quick look at the world, you’ll notice that there are tons of different worldviews and belief systems. But can they all be true? Is there even such a thing as truth? Who determines which belief is superior? Is Christianity the only way to God? And if so, why? These are questions that we get a lot, but the good news is: we have answers.
Join us on Friday nights for SWAT as we begin our new series Wordlview. You will learn about 10 of the most common worldviews and religions, and what they believe about God and humanity. You will also learn how to think about these beliefs in light of the Bible and the Christian faith, so that you can learn to detect error and share the truth. Not only will you be informed about different religions, but you will learn how to interact with them and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Come and see why Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6)–and why it is true!
We meet in the Loft at 6 P.M. every Friday. See you there!
The Activate High School ministry is linking shields with Harvest Relief Corps to minister to the people of Haiti on August 5-14. Roughly 20 students and leaders will be ministering and serving in Haiti as they seek to be a part of the work that God has been doing there since the devastating earthquake in 2010. It is going to be a blessed venture as the students give of their time, resources, and energy to embody the gospel of Christ to a nation in ruin. Please pray for the planning of this missions trip!
Last week, 10 students and leaders from Activate joined with the Apologetics Ministry to go on the UC Berkeley Apologetics Missions Trip. We were in Berkeley, CA from March 30th through April 3rd, where we learned how to both deepen and defend our faith. We built and strengthened friendships while site-seeing in San Francisco and we had lots of laughs as we came up with crazy puppet performances late at night. But apart from all of the fun and fellowship, our trip consisted of two primary objectives: education and evangelism.
The Apologetics Mission Trips are unique because they provide a lot of opportunity to learn and grow in our understanding of both our faith and in the faith of others. On our trip, we invited two well-known atheists to come and present their position to us. Their topics were, “Goodness without God” and “Why I Became an Atheist.” After their presentations, we were then able to dialogue with them through a time of Q&A, which turned out to be very beneficial and thought-provoking. We were able to ask questions that got them thinking, which brought to light the various weak points in their arguments.
In addition to having people come to us, we also visited several places to learn. First, we visited a Hare Krishna temple, where we toured the temple and heard a basic presentation of their beliefs, and then had a time for Q&A. Next, we visited a Unitarian Universalist church, which accepts all religions as being equally valid and true, and we were able to ask questions about their beliefs in comparison to Christianity. And finally, we had the great privilege of going to the home of Dr. Phillip Johnson, a former UC Berkeley law professor and author, who is considered the father of the Intelligent Design movement. He encouraged us to stand firm in our biblical conviction of a Creator, and to stand against the deceit of Darwinism.
The educational aspect of the mission trip was not just about acquiring knowledge, but about applying that knowledge through evangelism. We were able to take the arguments and tactics that we learned through apologetic training sessions and use them to talk with students from UC Berkeley. We had many fruitful conversations that challenged students to think about truth, morality, religion, and God. After discussing their views and beliefs, we were able to share about our faith and the gospel. Even though we were at a very prestigious and intellectual school, many students admitted that they had never given serious thought to these big issues in life. By God’s grace, we were able to get them to start thinking about these important topics, and to consider the claims of Christ.
Overall, we had a great time. We learned a lot, laughed a lot, and we strengthened our faith and our friendships. If you want to join us next time, be on the lookout for the next Apologetics Mission Trip! CLICK HERE to see the pictures from our trip!