Saturday, June 30, 2012

trip update - in for the night

The team arrived at St. Anne's Church around 7pm this evening after a four-hour drive from the airport due to some traffic. The ride was hot and bumpy -- at certain points the road has been washed away due to erosion and storms over the years. It's very much an off-road experience. Once they got situated and had unpacked all their gear, the clouds rolled over for an early evening downpour. The rain has cooled things off, the team is settling in, and will finish the day with a nice dinner with Fr. Wilner.

trip update - safe arrival

The C2 - Haiti Mission team gathered at Nativity's parking lot at 4am this morning, packed and ready to go. The flights to Miami and then on to Port-au-Prince went smoothly and Fr. Wilner was at the airport the greet them. The four are now squeezed in a pickup truck, luggage bouncing around in the bed, driving on the road to St. Anne's Church. The team will drive up the coast from Port-au-Prince through Saint Marc all the way to Gonaives and from there will start heading northeast to Labrande. They will arrive this evening for dinner and hit the sack after a long day of travel ready for Mass tomorrow with the community and an exciting week ahead.

Monday, June 25, 2012

haiti mission team

This Saturday our first C2 - Haiti Missions team will be leaving to spend a week with our partners at St. Anne's Church in Labrande, Haiti. (C2 = C squared, the name of our partnership, representing the church-to-church partnership.) The team has been preparing for over three months for this trip thanks to the support of the leadership and the Haiti Home Team!

Traveling internationally is full of logistical challenges like packing, traveling, eating, and sleeping... especially when you're traveling to a developing country. But logistics only make up a small portion of the preparation process to go on a NativityMissions trip. Because we believe that these trips are all about relationships, a huge part of the prep work is around team-building with the traveling team and the home team, both together and separately. In addition to team building, there are a lot of things to learn about the specific country and region you're traveling to and the people you're staying with. But it doesn't stop there, beneath all that information is the cultural context and learning how to engage properly in a short-term cross-cultural experience. Not to mention all the spiritual preparation and prayer... I've heard many people say at the beginning of the process, "We're going to meet for sixteen weeks?! What could we possibly talk about all that time?" Then sure enough, it's those same folks that are expressing their gratitude at the end realizing how much there was to learn and discuss.

I'm so excited for this team to travel to Haiti, and in advance, I want to give all the credit to Ellen Franklin (who is leading the travel team) and Bruce McEntee (who leads the home team). Their leadership, dedication, and passion for NativityMissions and our partner in Haiti has allowed our team to go farther faster and exceed all expectations I had for this year. And by the way, Ellen is a full-time mother of four who has recently gone back to working a full-time job... while serving in a Ministry and attending her Small Group. If you're waiting for your schedule to free up before getting involved, well, I'll let you finish this sentence...

Check back here starting on June 30 to hear daily updates from their trip and some reflections from our Home Team members as well. Thanks for all your prayers and support of our international strategic partnerships.