“I will be so mad, so very mad, if you ever lose sight of this vision.”
A group of us were seated in a circle, debriefing after a long day at the “Haitian Queen.”* The man who shared these words was a pastor from the United States, currently in Haiti leading a short-term team of volunteers under the direction of EFCA TouchGlobal.
Ron spoke with passion in his voice and tears in his eyes. In the silence that followed, someone finally asked what he meant. Ron recounted that upon arriving in Haiti, he wasn’t totally sure of what his team would be doing. He understood some of TouchGlobal’s vision for this decimated country, but the picture was far from complete. Until, that is, his 12 team members left for their assignments.
Four members visited an orphanage to assist an overworked (and understaffed) team of Haitians. Two others worked to erect shelters donated by Samaritan’s Purse, and six more helped build a septic system for the Haiti Health Clinic.
While that last team struggled on the clinic’s septic problem, friends from yet another orphanage loaned them a rented backhoe. And Ron himself taught a discipleship seminar for a group of local churches.
“I’ve been on a lot of teams to Haiti,” he continued, “but have never seen this degree of cooperation, unselfishness and networking in this country. It may exist, but not to my knowledge. Something very special is happening here, and that’s why I will be so mad, so very mad, if you ever lose sight of this vision.”
It can be difficult to explain and even more difficult to live out, but from those first chaotic days after the earthquake, what that pastor described has been the vision of TouchGlobal in Haiti. TouchGlobal doesn’t own an orphanage; it has no plans to run a medical clinic; but it is partnering with orphanages and clinics and schools and churches–intentionally living out its purpose of “mobilizing people, equipping churches, transforming communities.”
And the partnership carries far more dimensions than simply American-Haitian. TouchGlobal Crisis Response is also integrally working with ReachGlobal—the EFCA’s international mission—to engage our international partners. So the Haitian Queen is known to house Americans and Haitians, yes, but also Brazilians, Congolese, Canadians, Germans and more.
And while much of TouchGlobal’s efforts are currently being given over to Haiti’s significant physical needs, this same vision is being cast even more broadly, as TouchGlobal helps network Haitian church and ministry leaders (see “Dreaming Big”).
Truly, Haiti needs far more than any one relief group can hope to offer. But as more and more individuals and groups catch the vision to partner together, Haiti stands a mighty chance at becoming a greater country than ever before.
*The Haitian Queen is our affectionate euphemism for our TouchGlobal headquarters outside Port-au-Prince, which we established in March 2010. TouchGlobal team members have been serving in Haiti since the first week after the January 12, 2010, devastating earthquake. Since then, we have sent more than 200 people on 26 teams, and our long-term plan is to stay as long as needed. That’s based on our goal of assisting the Haitian church in reaching its people through the holistic presentation of the gospel, so that followers of Jesus become active in healthy, disciple-making, multiplying churches in Haiti and around the world.
Story originally published in EFCA Today magazine (http://www.efcatoday.org/), summer 2011, published by the Evangelical Free Church of America. Written by Steve, EFCA ReachGlobal missionary who spent 20 years in Brazil and currently is part of the ReachGlobal team in Haiti.
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Bring a short-term team to Haiti to serve in a variety of ways, from building and distributing temporary shelters for those who, even after one year, are still without a safe place to sleep to assisting in local orphanages or health clinics.
- For continued growth of healthy, God-honoring partnerships throughout Haiti.
- That God would continue to send workers to the mission field that follows crisis — and that He would bring together a truly international team to serve in Haiti.
Make an online donation to Haiti earthquake relief efforts.