A group from Forest Hill Presbyterian Church in Maryland is coming to Haiti this summer. The letter below is a request for support and prayer for the mission trip this church has planned for July. You can follow along on Joel and Gabe’s adventure on Facebook. And if you feel led to help, you can use the church PayPal account: firstname.lastname@example.org and just put “Haiti Trip” in the memo line.
Dear Family and Friends,
I hope you are looking forward to the summer and have big plans with your loved ones. Gabe and I will be going back to Haiti this summer. The orphanage has grown to almost 100 children!
A small group of people from our church will be going to Haiti in July. We’ve been working through a six-unit study on poverty alleviation and effective short-term missions. These studies are taking place over the course of five months, to ensure that we have time to process what we’re learning and be well prepared for the trip. As we have met, we have seen the Lord knit us together into a unified group with a strong desire to serve God’s purposes in Haiti.
We will be leaving for Haiti on July 6th and returning on July 14th. During the time we’re in Haiti, we’ll be working with Reformation Hope, a local ministry in Haiti that provides care and education for orphans, in addition to a medical clinic, a church, a Bible college and pastoral training for church planting.
Reformation Hope has been working in Haiti since 2007 and has seen a remarkable expansion of their ministry impact in the country since the devastating Haiti earthquake in 2010. They are led in Haiti by Pastor Jean Paul, a Haitian native pastor. You can learn more about their work on their web site, www.ReformationHope.org.
We are learning in our studies that poverty alleviation and effective short-term missions is about more than giving money or helping build buildings. It is important to work in support of a local ministry, run by Haitians, who are committed to investing in education, health care, training, Gospel proclamation and discipleship. Bringing people out of poverty requires a commitment to empowering people to live as God created them to live. We have 2 good friends that we met last year that have gone on to University in the Dominican Republic to study toward medical degrees.
We realize that going to Haiti for six days is not going to change the world. We know that our team cannot accomplish in one week what Reformation Hope has been laboring to do for ten plus years. That’s why we’re going to support the ministry and serve their long-term goals and interests as best we can. To that end, here are some things we’re planning on doing:
· Working with the youth of the orphanage to build relationships and encourage them in their faith and future.
· Providing some electrical and electronics skills for young men who will soon be looking for work in Haiti.
· Providing business training and development and the usage of micro finance loans.
· Providing some help with ongoing landscaping and campus beautification for the brand-new orphanage buildings.
· Learning from the Haitians and seeking the best way for our church to partner with them long-term.
We have been very encouraged by the continued contact from our Haitian brothers and sisters and look forward to seeing them in person again. We expect to be tested and stretched beyond our comfort levels. We would very much appreciate your prayers, encouragement and financial support for our team as we go. So, would you please join us in praying for Haiti, in praying for our team and in praying for Reformation Hope and Pastor Jean Paul? Would you please pray specifically for our trip in July? And finally, would you please consider helping our team with our travel and supply expenses?
You can check this facebook page here for trip updates. The total cost of the trip will be over $1,200 per person. This includes air travel, lodging, meals, vaccinations and translators. Last year Gabe and I self funded. This year he is saving toward driving and the recent medical bills for his heart study have moved us to ask for more support. We still need to raise about $1,200. If you choose to support us financially, it would helpful to have your support by June 15th. You can send a check or I can provide a PayPal link. This is a tax deductible donation. Gabe is also looking for work to raise his own funds if you any odd jobs that need a strong young man.
Thank you in advance for your prayers and for your support. We appreciate it more than you know.
In Christ’s Service,
Joel and Gabe