Come, Connect, Be Changed – Haiti Women’s Ministry

So excited about this new blog series within the Praying Pelican Missions’ staff – A Spin of the Globe!

A Spin of the Globe is a series compiled by Praying Pelican Missions Mission Coordinators and Advocates. Within our individual blogging, most readers only get a narrow glimpse of PPM and our world-wide ministry. Between us bloggers, we realized we never speak much to countries we don’t have experience in – so we are Spinning the Globe. We hope through this series, you can experience another country within (and even outside) the world of PPM and get a taste for ministry that is unique and powerful, in every location. We pray you are blessed.  For more details about all of our domestic and international locations, go here: http://www.prayingpelicanmissions.org/mission-trip-locations

I have the extreme honor of hosting Bethany’s blog about Haiti on our page! Bethany is awesome. Jacob and I wish we lived closer to Bethany and her husband Eric, who are both full-time with PPM, because they are just amazing people. Take time to read what Bethany has seen and experienced in Haiti. Be encouraged and challenged by how God is working! 

Hi there Morgan family readers! My name is Bethany and I work for Praying Pelican Missions, the same organization as Jacob and Anna. I am a Mission Coordinator and focus my ministry primarily in Haiti.

I had the privilege of leading a team from North Dakota a few weeks ago on a trip in Lafiteau, Haiti, that little red dot on the map. Can I share with you a highlight from the week?

In the afternoons, as the men, both Haitian and American, worked together on construction, the ladies headed inside the church for a truly unique time of women’s ministry.

Now, many teams do women’s ministry and do it well, but what made this trip so different? What made it stand out? I could speak to a thousand different details, but the main thing that set it apart was that the USA team desired, above all, to make a real connection with the women from the community.

Day 1 – As nearly 50 women packed the church with babies in tow for the first service, our team humbly began speaking through translators – connecting about life. Names, home-towns and family-trees began slowly filling the church with a low hum of conversation.

The first day we sang songs in both languages and shared tea and cookies. Our USA team showed photos of their families and explained some of the things about their lives in America that are very different from what they’d experienced in Haiti so far. Snow, freezing temperatures, cooking on a gas stove, washing clothes in a machine and working a farm were among some of the conversations. It was incredible to hear our translators try to communicate the concepts of -30* below zero. The Haitian women asked questions unashamedly and we laughed, oh how we laughed.

Day 2 – we reversed roles. The Haitian women came with photos of their lives and families. We learned about them and how many of them live with multiple generations in one household. Then they taught us about the heat in the summer and how you must stay in the shade, how far they walk or TapTap (taxi) to work and how they prepare their meat by hand for each meal. We spent time around a shallow washbasin, learning how to wash clothes by hand. We learned of their physical strength and how they often help each other do laundry, spending that time together gossiping and singing songs. They even tried to teach the team how to balance a 5 gallon jug of water on our heads, but they couldn’t quite get it, dropping it multiple times. Oh how we laughed together at the difference of our lives and yet, just how much we are alike.

Day 3 – We came together in a special service of servant-hood. In likeness of Christ we sang songs together, worshiping in Spirit. Then to physically reflect Christ’s example of love and respect and service, we washed each-others feet. How is it that this one simple act can penetrate so deeply into our souls? Our hearts were overwhelmed in quiet joy as tears streamed down our faces. We ended the week agreeing together that in only 3 days, we’d learned so much from one another. That when Christ is your bond, it is a quick bond and it is strong. The Haitian women expressed their gratitude in having a time set aside to get to know them more.

Now, for this team, the community in Lafiteau is even more cemented in their lives. They left with a deep connection and broader view of the body of Christ in the nations. They learned lessons and heard God’s voice. For Madame Pastor and her women’s ministry, they were encouraged and blessed. They got to experience a mission team full of blan (the Creole word for foreigner) that sat down and got to know them, personally. They learned about hardships women endure across the globe. Pastor was encouraged and forever thankful for the team to give such special and well-deserved attention to his wife and her hard work day after day in ministry. And for me, I got to work alongside this partnership and be forever impacted by the blessings of Christ in the precious moments we spent together.

Missions isn’t just about construction or service projects, donations or giving out food – it’s about relationship. What made this ministry successful wasn’t the over-preparedness of the team or the new and improved Bible study they presented, it was connection. Real exchange of life. Humbly coming forward and saying to someone, “can we learn from one another? can we open up and share our lives and connect in the name of Christ?”

We as women, across the globe, are vastly different. We wash our clothes different, we carry our water differently, we get to work in different ways and we cook different meals for dinner. But we are all the same. We care about our families and children more than anything. We want to see good things happen to those we love. We are emotional and like to feel safe. We are worried about what other people think. We are strong.

And that is why I say everyday how blessed I am to be a part of this ministry. All because 12 people decided to step out on faith and come with quiet hearts.

Would you like to be a part of a ministry like this? Check out our available trip dates at www.prayingpelicanmissions.org or fill out our contact form to receive more information on how you can be a part.

Check out their full trip journal online here.

Step out. Connect. Be changed.

-Bethany

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