Haiti: Finding Joy in the Midst of Tragedy

This testimony blog is dusty! Send some good news to jamie@churchinthecity.us.

God is always bringing life from death. Can you even begin to imagine the life He is creating all over the world that we don’t even know about? Neil wrote about his experience seeing God in action in Haiti:

Haiti: Finding Joy in the Midst of Tragedy

When I first heard the news of the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, little did I know that this tragedy would radically change my life as well.  I had the opportunity to participate in two relief trips to Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake to serve with a local ministry, Hope Outreach International.  The first trip was in March, a mere 8 weeks after the quake.  I arrived to a country filled with chaos and desperation for the basic necessities of life.  The focus of the trip was distribution of food and shelter supplies, medical care and a water reservoir/purification project.

In preparation for this trip I asked God what I should focus on beyond serving where needed.  I had a strong impression that I should work on developing relationships and loving people.  I met many local Haitians on the trip and made many new friends.  Upon my return to Chicago, I realized that I had a new found love for this country and its people primarily due to the many new friendships that I made.  I knew that I would be going back to Haiti in the near future.

My second trip to Haiti was in August.  The focus of this trip was a medical clinic, a Vacation Bible School for kids, pastor training and completion of the water reservoir/purification project that was started in March.  This trip I focused on the 600 kids that attended the VBS program.  My goal at VBS was to encourage and love on as many of the kids as I could.

Mid way through the week, a couple of team members separately commented on how happy I was.  I instantly thought of Jesus’s words that “he who seeks to save his life will lose it but he who loses his life will find it”.  I realized that I was experiencing much joy in the midst of massive human tragedy.  As we love and serve others in the name of Jesus, we experience the kingdom of God in our lives, namely righteousness, peace and joy.

Going forward, I know that Haiti will continue to be on my heart.  Since August, I have been active in spreading news of the needs in Haiti and have assisted in fundraising programs.  I am eagerly looking forward to a return trip in 2011 to serve and reconnect with friends.

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One Comment to “Haiti: Finding Joy in the Midst of Tragedy”

  1. awesome – thanks for sharing Neal!

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