24 Jan 2010

Haiti or Bust

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For a while I have felt that I should go on a “missions trip” with my church, which (if you don’t know) means that a church will send people to a foreign country for some humanitarian project, but which also serves to spread the gospel. So an obvious thing would be to go build a physical church building in a poor country, but my own church has also sent people to help with shelters for girls in Moldova, to work with families that literally live in a huge garbage dump in Nicaragua, and so forth.

Soon after I attended an informational meeting at my church on this year’s missions, the earthquake hit Haiti. Ever since, I have strongly felt that I am supposed to go to Haiti to help there. At first this struck me as insane, but I decided that if I’m going to Haiti, I’d rather travel by airplane than inside a whale.

I have discussed the matter with my wife and she is OK with it, so now the next step is for me to register with some type of agency. I did a little research and right now the situation is still so volatile that only professional emergency responders are going there. But various relief agencies are taking information from interested “average” people so that when the time is appropriate, they will be contacted about getting to Haiti to help.

So, does anyone have any personal experience with a Christian organization with which I could register? Obviously I want to make sure I am dealing with reputable people before buying a ticket to Haiti. And as far as the Christian preference, it’s not that I want to proselytize the Haitians. It’s just that I would personally feel a lot more comfortable taking orders from a private person who is serving God, rather than a staffer at a more bureaucratic organization who is technically taking orders from George Bush.

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