What do nine individuals ages 20 through 65 who attend Joyful Lutheran Church in Bolingbrook, IL, one individual age 38 who attends Life Changers International Church in Hoffman Estates, IL and two 21-year college students who attend GPS Faith Community Church in Rockford, IL have in common? God's plan to bring us together "for such a time as this". We set out on the morning of Saturday, June 23rd on a six-day journey (missions trip) to the country of Haiti.
Hi I'm Shannon - the 38-year old from Life Changers Church - and I'm excited to be here with this wonderful group of folks on my very first missions trip. Today, was our first official work day and while we worked it was in many ways NOT like work. We sweated. We got sunburn. We were tugged and pulled on by many little children. We bobbed around on the back of truck. We got dirty. We even got a bit tired. But at the end of the day after having yet another tasty Haitian dinner and some time of devotion, we all shared our experiences from the day and NO ONE spoke in terms of "work". Several of us went to the Village of Hope school and clinic to help with some painting projects. In addition to helping improve the appearance of the buildings/structures, we had the opportunity to interact with the beautiful children and the friendly staff. Others who went to the Little Children of Jesus orphanage were able to spend time with the children - administering physical therapy methods, feeding, playing games and caring for them. If you put together all that was done today (at both places) it all adds up to LOVE. And that's exactly what God has equipped us to do here in Haiti - i.e. pour love on the people of Haiti.
As was shared in one of our nights of devotion - "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." - Ephesians 5:1-2. How I pray this continues to resonate with us not only while we are here the next few days in Haiti but also when we return home. For that's exactly what God has equipped us to do here in earth.
Thanks Cheryl and Joyful Spirit Church for inviting me to come along.... I'll be forever grateful for this experience.