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!
Help share the love of Jesus by blessing children around the world with Christmas shoe boxes! Through Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child distributes millions of Christmas gifts for children in need every year. And the Activate High School Ministry is going to participate in this great mission of sharing and showing the gospel by hosting a giving campaign. From October 3 – November 16, Activate is going to have an “item of the week” for everyone to bring to service. The gifts will be kept in large Christmas-wrapped boxes, and once all of the gifts are collected, we will have a giant packaging party on November 16 where we will organize and pack all of the items into the shoe boxes. Since this night is the Friday before Thanksgiving, we will celebrate Thanksgiving together by having coffee and dessert, and we’ll show our thankfulness as we pack and pray for the shoe boxes.
Please join us in this mission! Be creative and pull your resources together: ask friends and family to help donate; promote through social networking; have a yard sale and raise money; sacrifice something every week (like Starbucks or new clothes) and use that money for gifts; and of course, go to the store and buy the items! Bring gifts every week, and let’s bless children around the world in the name of Jesus!
Please shop for the following items for boys or girls, ages 10-14, and bring them to Activate on these nights:
- October 3 – Toys: Small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, stickers, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), slinky, etc.
- October 10 – School Supplies: Pens, pencils and sharpener, crayons or markers, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
- October 24 – Hygiene Items: Toothbrush, toothpaste, bar soap (in a plastic bag), brush, comb, washcloth, etc.
- November 7 – Accessories: Sunglasses, hair clips, jewelry, watches, purses, wallets, flashlights (with extra batteries), gum and hard candy (in a plastic bag), etc.
- November 14 – Clothes: T-shirts, socks, hats, beanies, gloves, etc.
- November 16 – Thanksgiving Packaging Party: Please bring $7 to cover the costs of shipping and dessert and coffee.
Click on the image below to print/save the flyer:
- used or damaged items
- aerosol cans
- chocolate or food
- out-of-date candy
- liquids or lotions
- medications or vitamins
- breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers
-war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures
To see how Operation Christmas Child works, watch the video below!
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 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!
We had the great opportunity of going down to Irvine to the Operation Christmas Child Processing Center to package and process boxes for children in Peru and the Philippines. We made sure that thousands of boxes were packaged correctly, and we had a great time serving together! It was a blessing to serve knowing that many children will be blessed by these Christmas presents. Be on the lookout for more service projects in the future!