“So How Was Haiti?”
By. Lisa LaGeorge
One of the most challenging aspects of returning from international travel is answering the inevitable question… How was it?
For our team of eight returning from the beautiful country of Haiti, finding an adequate response to this question was incredibly tricky. How do you sum up five weeks of learning, traveling, growing and experiencing? The answer is… you can’t. No matter how hard you try to explain in exact detail the sights, smells, and sounds you encountered, you can never quite capture such a personal experience.
However, as a group, we discussed the “inevitable question,” and thought long and hard about how to answer. Between the 8 of us (8 very different people I might add,) there was one area which consistently impacted each of us to varying degrees… the Church.
For many of our team members, we had been attending a local church regularly for several years, and for some of us, our entire lives. The usual routine of the main service on Sunday morning plus an additional Bible study during the week was a habit that we thoroughly enjoyed, but sometimes didn’t fully appreciate. It is so easy to take a gift for granted when it is always there before you.
During our few weeks in Haiti, we grew to appreciate the global Church on a much deeper level, getting to see the many facets and components that make up the Body of Christ.
At home, we have been continuously surrounded by other, fellow believers, which means that our experience with the Church is rich but limited. Most of those you interact with speak the same language and, to a certain degree, often have similar lifestyles and goals.
However, getting the chance to work with those at BHM gave us the opportunity to expand our knowledge of the world and look up from the usual cares and commitments of college life. It gave us the chance to see how other Christians live their day to day lives. We were able to see how a young mother raises her little girl amidst an environment wholly different from that of her childhood. It allowed us to watch how a family moves from one house to another while still homeschooling, studying the history of their home country from 3,000 miles away. It allowed us to hear the Gospel shared in multiple languages. And it allowed us to see just how much we have in common with those we’ve never met. Despite the fact that we had never seen or talked to the missionaries and locals working at BHM, there was an undeniable bond that we shared with them immediately. That bond is Christ, and it is one of the most beautiful aspects of the Gospel.
We as believers have the unique blessing of being able to fellowship with others around the world as a family, while still appreciating the differences and variety with which God created us. In a world being continually fractured by hate, anger, racism, prejudice, selfishness, greed and violence, the global Church has a unique chance to show just how the one true God is merciful and compassionate. Through our example of unity and love for one another, we can be salt and light to a dying world.
In just a few short weeks with BHM, our team was able to understand the timeless and all-encompassing aspect of the Gospel better. The time spent with the locals, interns and missionaries allowed us to more fully appreciate the importance and encouragement of being a part of Christ’s Body. It is the family we will spend eternity with. Revelation 7 describes Heaven as containing believers from every “tribe and tongue and nation,” and through our time in Haiti, our team was able to experience a small taste of that divine plan!