Specific ways Life is Richer because of Serving in Haiti:
It was easy to see a theme of God’s presence and provision as I talked with the Bakers. Mrs. Baker reflecting on their time in Haiti said, “Life has been richer after serving in Haiti in the fact that I see that the Lord sustains you.” She went on to admit that Rob was not the best-qualified man to be a field director in Haiti, yet he was, for a time, and God sustained them and allowed them to thrive in that position. Pattie also noted that after serving in Haiti she sees God is at work everywhere in the world and at work in everyone. Rob told a story of two senior women who he met on the mission. One would kiss him on the check every day and say hello to him; she was kind and also a hard worker. The second lady was a little younger, and he had a problem with her. She began secretly using BHM property to cultivate a garden of her own. When it was discovered, Rob had to remove the garden and tell her she could not be growing a garden on their land. He retold the story to one of the pastors who said he needs to reimburse the lady for her garden. Rob was stuck in a hard position because he realized he needed to help this woman with what she lost but also knew that if people found out that they would get money for cultivating a garden on the mission, then everyone would do it. Rob confided in some close friends, and together they found a way to help the lady without putting the mission in a hard place. A few days later, Rob ran into the woman again on the mission, but this time she is cleaning. Because of the kindness shown to her, she asked to work for BHM, and now she is one of Rob’s close friends.
It is amazing to see God transform lives. He can change what seems to be a bad situation into something that brings Him glory. That lady would never have thought that having a garden on the mission would result in a close friendship with the director himself. God uses unusual events, so His grace will never be overlooked!
Working Through the Institutional Agenda vs. Relational Agenda:
Most of the time people think “oh I will go on a mission’s trip and help build a house, or clean the water, or run a camp,” but they fail to build relationships. Rob and Pattie stressed that there is a balance. You cannot go to a third world country and simply preach a gospel message and then leave and expect it to make a difference. In many circumstances, a trust must be earned before people will listen.
How did Rob and Pattie balance this heavyweight? They focused on relating and talking. Every day before Rob left the house, he would set before him 4-6 tasks to accomplish. On his way to the office, it was inevitable that he would run into someone who needed something. He had the choice to ignore them and say that his tasks are more important or to place importance on the person before him. Rob explained to me that he always left early for the office because he knew he would run into someone. He chose to stop and listen to those people and help them if he could. Once he finished, he would then go into his office and focus on the tasks of the day. Relationships are fundamental in missions’ work, and God calls us to help people’s physical needs as well. Luke 10 reveals to us that as believers it is our responsibility to help those in need. If we see someone hurting, do not walk by and say Jesus loves you. Instead, pick them up, help them to your best ability, and build a relationship with this person so they can experience that Jesus does love them. You are God’s representatives, therefore, go into all the world sharing the gospel and helping people in need!
What Can Those in the States do to Help our Missionaries:
First and foremost, they can pray. Go to our website and see ways our missionaries need prayer. Write them an encouraging letter. Share resources that you think may be useful for their ministry. You can also choose to financially support a missionary, sponsor a child, or donate to BHM.
Baptist Haiti Mission exists to glorify God by strengthening His church, proclaiming His gospel, equipping His church, and demonstrating His love.