Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to hear Pastor Joseph and Pastor Samuel Metelus of Church of God by Faith of Haiti speak at my home church, Mariners. I was really moved by their mission to build an orphanage for 52 children who lost their families during the January 2010 earthquake. Of course, my main question was, “How can I help?”
I wanted to use my writing skills to tell the story about the Haitian church, kind of like my reporting a couple years back when I went down to Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. I’m a storyteller, and this was a story I wanted to tell.
As soon as I answered that first question, another one popped up, “What’s my first step?”
Well, I found out after I attended the “Discover Your Dream” church event. There was a panel of speakers who spoke about how they found their dream, their purpose…and guess what? One of them was a woman who traveled to Uganda to write about a little boy. I approached her afterwards and told her my dream about working with the Haiti team and she gave me some great advice on who I should contact and answered some of my concerns. She pretty much told me to go for it! Next question, “How do I go for it?”
Then, there was Easter choir, where I started to randomly talk to a choir guy during the Easter Egg hunt and it turned out he was one of the people in our Outreach program involved with Haiti. Another amazing thing, the person in charge of Haiti was actually a friend of mine.The guy told me about an upcoming missions trip in September and to get a hold of my friend for more information.
I contacted my friend, told her about my interest in Haiti, and she was excited for me. I learned more about the communications team and about possibly applying for the September trip. Around the end of May, I finally finished the application and sent it in. I couldn’t ignore all these signs. All these steps were leading me in one direction–Haiti!
A month later, I had my interview with the Haiti trip leaders. I told them my story again, and they invited me on the spot to join them in Haiti.
So, if you didn’t believe in signs, you should believe in them now! In just a matter of months, I had my dream realized, and it’s such an amazing feeling. I can’t wait to travel to Haiti next month, to meet the people, and most of all, to serve. But I don’t want to do it alone. I want to share this experience with you.
Many of you know I took a leap of faith when I moved from Michigan to California three years ago. It was a chance for me to step out of my comfort zone and learn more about myself. I learned that I don’t miss the snow, but I missed seeing a white Christmas. I learned to make new friends, but also to call home more often. I learned not everything will go as planned, but to meet every challenge head-on.
From Sept. 19-26, I will take another leap of faith as I travel to Port Salut, Haiti as part of a Faith Adventure trip through Mariners Church in Irvine, CA. Mariners has been my home church for two-and-a-half years. Since I started attending, I graduated from Rooted, a 10-week personal journey with God; joined choir and had the privilege to lead worship; and volunteered with children’s ministry.
Now I have another opportunity to serve. This time I will be using my writing skills to help Mariners and their partner church in Haiti, Church of God by Faith, tell their story. In Haiti, Pastor Joseph and Pastor Samuel Metelus have planted 24 churches where 8,000 people come to worship each week. Their next goal is to build an orphanage for 52 children that were left without family after the devastating January 2010 earthquake. Our team will travel to Haiti to prepare Haitian leaders for children’s ministry and assist those in need of medical and dental care.
As a newspaper reporter in Michigan, I traveled to Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. I heard many stories the week I was there—stories I took back to my paper and community and shared with people who were outside of the area. That is my vision with this trip. Not only to serve the Haitian people, but to also listen to their stories and most importantly, to share them.
Will you consider partnering with me in this Faith Adventure? There are two important ways that you can be a part of our team. The first way is praying for me before and during this trip. Please pray for our safety, for spiritual and physical strength, and for God to provide us guidance.
The other way you can support me is financially, as each person on our team is raising $2,000. This covers airfare, transportation, food and accommodations.
If you want to help financially, you can contribute online by credit card, (we accept Visa, MasterCard and Amex). Just visit www.marinersoutreach.org, click “donate online” then “give towards a faith adventure,” then enter Haiti Sept. 19-26 and my name. If you would like to write a check, please write your check to Mariners Church. On the memo line designate “Haiti.” Please mail the gift to 5001 Newport Coast Drive, Irvine, CA. 92603. We will take donations at any time but are hoping to see the support by Sept. 15. Any amount will be greatly appreciated!
Thank you so much for supporting me in this adventure. I look forward to sharing with you what God does in Haiti for me and for our team.