Haiti - please know what you are doing
Last week I had a chance to chat for a few minutes with Reggie Joiner from reThink. I’ve gotten to know Reggie a bit this past year and impressed with his passion and his creative thinking about “orange” ministry (“yellow” stands for the church; “red” stands for the family - how can we bring the two together to make “orange”).
Reggie returned recently from Haiti. I’m hearing about more and more folks going to Haiti. That’s probably a good thing. But when I asked Reggie how the trip was, he said parts of it were discouraging given how far that nation has to go in its rebuilding. I told him I had been invited to go to Haiti with a short-term mission agency but couldn’t make it work with my schedule. He said, “Folks going there really need to make sure they go with folks who know what they are doing and can speak the language.”
I thought immediately of the important work done by Dave Livermore, the Executive Director of the Global Learning Center at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. Dave’s a good friend whose writing on Cultural Intelligence has helped FYI and me personally understand the importance of really getting to know the cultural you will be serving, and making sure that you are doing work that is truly helpful.
For you doing a short-term mission trip this summer, have you asked—really asked—your host what they need? Have you really listened? And are you willing to set aside your own agenda for the needs of the folks you are serving?
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