As we wrap up the summer group season, it is fun to reflect on the many different teams who came to take part in the work JiHM is doing in Haiti. We had teams from Ohio, Texas, Minnesota, Indiana, and California, totaling 63 people.
Without these teams, summer camp would not have been nearly as amazing as it was for our students. Even after camp was finished, teams continued to play a large role in summer activities, like the returning team from California that served at Grace Emmanuel School’s registration days for the coming school year.
Each team came with different strengths and weaknesses. The teams had different age ranges, different levels of experience, and different histories with this ministry. On one of the teams, every member already sponsored a student at Grace Emmanuel School, while for other teams this was their first time to connect with the students we serve.
No matter how different each team was, I spent one night each week telling them all the exact same story.
When I was 16 years old, I came on my first trip to Haiti with JESUS in Haiti Ministries. In the mornings my pastor led devotions out of 2 Corinthians, and as we read over 2 Corinthians 5:6–10, the reality that I would get to stand before JESUS one day really began to sink in. One evening during that same trip, my pastor challenged our team to be passionate about everything we had seen and done that week and in his words, “refuse to forget.”
Those words became so much more than a recurring phrase in my mind as I did just that – refused to forget. I was challenged to refuse to forget that the people I had met were a part of the Kingdom of GOD and that we all are longing for our true home, heaven with our LORD JESUS.
After that trip I was constantly thinking about how one day, when I stand before JESUS, HE will ask me if I forgot my brothers and sisters in Haiti
After that trip I was constantly thinking about how one day, when I stand before JESUS, HE will ask me if I forgot my brothers and sisters in Haiti; HE will ask if I forgot that they are just as much a part of HIS blood-bought bride as I am.
This summer, we shared that story and concept with every visiting team in hopes that they too would choose to refuse to forget the people they met while they were here.
Refusing to forget will look different for everyone. For some, it looks like faithfully writing letters to their Grace Emmanuel School sponsor students. For others, it looks like financially committing to the work of the Lighthouse Children’s Home. Most importantly, refusing to forget looks a lot like praying consistently.
This summer, we got to challenge 63 people to daily live like the Church exists beyond the places we see with our own eyes.
Now we are challenging you, too. This challenge is for all of us to love all of the Church better and continue supporting members of our family in CHRIST as we, in the words of the Apostle Paul from 2 Corinthians 5, continue in this ministry of reconciliation.