by Jenny Gregory
CLEVELAND, Ga., (TMNews) – Twenty Seven Truett-McConnell College students, faculty and staff members ministered to the people of Haiti, sharing Christ’s love through ministering to hospitals and loving on children in poverty-stricken orphanages and churches during Christmas break, January 3-10.
“The Lord taught me so much in just one short week as God gave my team and I the opportunity to be His hands and feet to the Haitian people.” said Kristen Loy, a senior Nursing student who attended the trip.
Top priority: to share Christ’s love
When asked to describe their experiences, several words or phrases voiced by those who attended were: Mission of Hope, inspired, fearless persistence, humbling, powerful, God’s love.
Stepping off the plane in Haiti, those unfamiliar with the country are likely not to realize how shocking the poverty level is. After a devastating 7.0 earthquake in 2010, the country remains one of the top 10 poorest countries in the world.
A beautiful country with an exotic feel is also home to many orphanages, a lack of clean water and food, and a land where many people place their trust in voodoo priests.
For the TMC mission team, sharing the love of Christ was top priority, especially in a country where spiritual warfare is real. Language was no barrier when sharing the love of Christ. Whether bandaging someone’s wounds, sharing the gospel in different communities, playing ball with a group of boys, giving a hug to a small child who didn’t want to let go or offering prayer to a woman who was just not ready to accept Christ, the group of students from TMC strived to be the hands and feet of Christ.
“Satan is winning in the hearts and minds of many Haitians through the lies of Voodoo,” said Rachel Johnson, a TMC senior. Jesse Mitchum echoed Johnson’s claims and added: “Voodoo is real. The devil is real. And he has a definite stronghold on the island.” The Haitian people are facing something that is pure evil but a part of their culture. Although the country has a population of Christian believers, the influence of these Voodoo practices can be overpowering.
A beacon of hope
There is much work to be done in Haiti, but there are signs of progress. With the help of groups like TMC, Haiti remains a beacon of Hope.
Jonathan Morris, mission team leader and Director of Student Development at Truett-McConnell, led a group to Haiti last year and shared that as TMC has provided these mission clinics, seeds have been planted and lives continue to be changed as a result. Truett-McConnell students were ecstatic as they shared that three Haitians made personal decisions to accept Christ as Lord and Savior while they were there.
While many students claim ministering to the people of Haiti as a life-changing experience, God’s work with the Haitians doesn’t end when TMC’s group leaves: “Although we may never see the complete fruit of our labors, we continue to trust that more people of Haiti will come to know Christ and understand just how much God loves them,” Morris said.
While there were many stories about how God used this group to share His love with the Haitian people, student Jesse Mitchum shared how God used a man on a plane to minister to the entire TMC team: “We met this man, probably in his 60’s or 70’s that we planned on witnessing to and he surprised us with an overflowing joy of the Lord. Instead of witnessing to the man, he began praying over us in Creole. His prayer was from Psalm 117, ‘Praise the Lord, all nations! Glorify Him, all people! For His faithful love to us is great; the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever. Hallelujah!'”
Audra Minish shared: “It was amazing to watch each person on the trip be able to put their passions into action.”
“What a treat it was to pour out love to innocent children in the name of Jesus, and what a reward to see them smile!” said Havilah Miller, TMC’s Activities Coordinator as she recalled one of her favorite memories.
Rachel Johnson: “Being on a short term mission trip often gives us the opportunity to get a clearer and more accurate picture of the depth of our dependence on the Lord in ministry, in life and in our next breath.”
Jacob Moore: “It was incredible the way that God used two-year-olds to preach a message to me that I desperately needed to hear.”
Sara Fitzsimons: “The Lord showed me that He is in control. I am not called to save people; I am simply called to be faithful in obedience.” Sarah Fitzsimons told me.
Jenny Gregory is the Content Manager for TMC.
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