Mar 7, 2011

Hope for Haiti

Many months ago, our pastor and a small group from our church went to Haiti to look at opportunities of ministry there. When he returned, he shared with our church family the devastation of the country as a result of the earthquake there early last year. He also shared a vision God had given him for a small community of houses, a medical clinic, and a church that he wanted us to pray about building there. Since then, a few other groups from our church have visited - a survey team and a dental team, that I'm aware of. Many people in our church, and throughout the country, actually, have been praying for this vision. A number of mission trips have since been planned for the remainder of this year. We've seen God's hand again and again as He has brought to life that vision our pastor shared with us all those months ago.

This past Sunday was set aside as what our pastor called an "ingathering" day. It was the day that those who felt led could bring money to support the efforts toward building this community and ministering to the people of Haiti. Our pastor has shared with us many stories of individuals who have saved money, who've given sacrificially, and who've prayed for God's blessings on the people of Haiti, as well as these ministry efforts.

Reagan and I have always tried to support mission efforts as best we could, in whatever area we felt God provided us to give or serve. It has always been our desire to teach Sara Madalin the importance of giving to God's ministry through missions. For several days this past week, I told her that we were going to open her Piggy and share some of her money with people who don't have a house. It was a very basic explanation for what we were going to do, but one that she could somewhat understand. So, Sunday morning, before we left for church, she and Reagan opened Piggy and took out some change. We placed that change in a Ziploc bag and she carried it to church with her.

In the main entrance to the preschool department was set up a small house that the children could drop their change in as they went to their class. Their goal was to raise enough money to pay for a portion of one house to be constructed in Haiti. Here's a picture of our little girl dropping in her change. It makes tears come to my eyes when I see this and allow myself to think that my little girl, in a very small way, is helping another child, that she will most likely never meet this side of heaven, have a place to sleep someday.

In addition to the money collected, we had a day of celebration and a special musical guest during our morning worship services. I turned my flash off and took this photo really quickly, so it's a little blurry. This is Mark Harris. He sang for years with 4Him. He is now a solo artist, songwriter, and worship pastor in Alabama.

When I was in college, my friends and I listened to the music of 4Him pretty much non-stop. I wanted to share with him the influence his music had on me during those years, but I didn't get a chance to speak with him after service. I did share this photo on FB and tagged many of my Baptist Student Union friends. Those BSU days were some of the best of my young life.

Then, Sunday evening, our church choir shared in praise and worship music. The service was recorded and DVD copies are being sold with all proceeds going to the Haiti mission efforts.The following is a photo I snapped during the last song of the night. This gentleman, Derick Burke, sang "Midnight Cry." It was very powerful.

At the end of the service, our pastor shared that to date, over $490,000 had been collected for the Haiti mission efforts. This money will go toward the cost of land, construction of a church, medical clinic, digging of wells for fresh water, and somewhere around 30 houses for the people of Haiti.

As I said, there are a number of teams that will travel from our church and work in Haiti over the next year, and probably beyond that. Please pray for these people and those they will minister to.

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3 comments:

Their Mommy His Wife said...

God is so awesome how He is opening so many hearts to the great need in Haiti!
We have 5 people from our church (in WV) in Haiti right now on a medical missions trip. Our pastor's wife, her two adult daughters, and a few other folks. They left last Friday and will return this Friday.
Before they left, they had a list of hygiene items needed for "personal health" kits and instructions on how to pack them. My little girl (a few months younger than SM) had the best time "helping" me pack some kits so the "baby can brush HE teef".
I pray that God will provide the way for me and my husband to be able to go on one of these trips..

Penny said...

That's awesome that your church raised that much money for Haiti! :)
I LOVE Mark Harris~ I heard his song "Wish You Were Here" for the first time the day after my precious Nannie (grandmother and best friend) passed away. I was driving home alone from helping plan her funeral and crying to the Lord about how much I was going to miss that ol' girl, when that song came on the radio. It was like liquid gold for my soul~ felt like a personal message from my Nan's heart to mine. I came home, looked the song up on the internet and ran to Wal-Mart to buy that CD. After 4 years, it's still one of my favorites! :)

Carrie said...

What an awesome service, Malinda. I love that you have a heart for missions and that you are teaching little miss about giving at an early age. What an important lesson!!! When I saw the picture of Derick Burke singing "Midnight Cry" I got chills. Amazing song, especially in reference to God's call on us as Christians.