I think the word I’ve used most to describe my time in Haiti is RICH. It was a rich experience of God and the body of Christ in action. It was a rich experience of an endlessly fascinating country. It was a rich time as a father with my eleven-year-old daughter. OH4F is doing great work in Haiti. They also do a great job of bringing you right into the heart of life and ministry in Haiti. It’s transformation all-around.
When I got back I said something like this to my congregation:
Myself…I tend to hone in on my “to do” list and Google calendar…all of the pressing details of life. Being in Haiti has opened my eyes again to the bigger picture. God used that time to open my eyes and my heart just a little more to his big vision, his plan for our world.
In a sense, it was a sacramental experience. And here’s what I mean by that…
Taking in the Lord’s Supper only involves a little nibble of bread and a sip of juice. It’s not the full feast that God is preparing…that’s yet to come. But it’s a taste of what’s to come. And God uses it to touch our hearts. That’s what sacraments do. God is active through the sacraments to activate something in our hearts and minds. It’s an experience of God’s kingdom.
My experience of life and ministry in Haiti was kind of like that. It, too, was an experience of God’s kingdom, a taste of what’s to come.
I got to meet a woman who just weeks ago was a voodoo witch-doctor and a real leader in her village. Now she’s cleared all of the voodoo stuff out of her house and she’s passionately following Christ. She’s still a leader in her village but now she’s leading people out of darkness rather than into darkness.
I got to see the neat work that Haitian Christians and American Christians are doing together in caring for 63 orphans…and I got to be a part of it for just a little while. Working alongside fellow believers who speak a different language and look very different than me…that, too, was an experience of God’s kingdom.
As a group we got to worship with a Haitian congregation on Sunday morning. We heard a girl sing in creole “Heaven came down and glory filled my soul when at the cross my Savior made me whole.” We heard their Haitian Pastor preach in Creole. They even gave this white guy a chance to share a bit using an interpreter. We prayed together. We praised our Lord together… again, an experience of God’s kingdom.
I’m very grateful to OH4F and the staff and children in Haiti for ministering to my daughter and me. I pray that God will continue to build his kingdom in Mayan and beyond.
Although my name is Craig Van Hill I am often referred to as PC since I’m also known as Pastor Craig. I am a husband and father of 3 energetic boys. In thinking about them I’m amazed at the amount of love that God gives us to share. This thought struck me so hard when I first went to Haiti. My heart went out to these children and I always look forward to seeing them again. After loving on the children in Haiti on that first vision trip I have become so attached to them that I can’t imagine my life without them. It has moved beyond love to passion and I am so amazed at how God has worked through us. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then join us on a trip, and if you do know then share that passion with others!