The Guest Services group at Blue Ridge is a large ministry consisting of hundreds of servant-hearted and sacrificial people who make our campuses inviting and welcoming. So when we began preparing for a second mission trip to Haiti, I felt confident this would be a repeat of our successful first Haiti trip two years prior.
I began preparing. I had a plan in place. And within weeks of sending out an invitation to join the trip, things began to fall apart. A solid team had formed early — a team that seemed perfect to me. But one by one, as the time came to commit, the solid team began to dwindle. I didn't understand — I felt discouraged.
Finally, a group of 16 was in place and ready. But as soon as the airline tickets were purchased, opposition began. The normal fear of going to a third world country was present. But the team was also plagued by physical sickness, marital discord, emotional attack, loss of employment, and financial concerns. I wrestled with worry daily. I knew the roadblocks were no surprise to God, but He was stretching my faith.
We left for Haiti on a cold, rainy morning. Before we even got on the plane, we dealt with the stress of a lost passport and a piece of luggage left behind. With those issues resolved, I fell exhausted into my airline seat, and I cried out to God. This team didn't look like the team I had so painstakingly assembled months earlier. In fact, we were a group of unlikely people-cobbled together and seemingly mismatched. The path leading to this trip was anything but smooth. It had been rocky and uncertain.
But then we arrived in Haiti. And God showed up in ways we never could have imagined. In fact, in a country full of desolation and despair, God gave our team a glimpse into His character and faithfulness. He allowed us to see what He can and will do in the lives of people who are obedient to His call.
We rejoiced as four Haitians gave their lives to Christ that week. Many others heard the good news of the gospel as it was shared boldly by our team. One dear woman was baptized in the ocean amidst gentle waves and under a bright sun.
But it wasn't just about transforming the lives of the people we encountered in Haiti, God's transforming work was occurring within our team. He took handicaps and weaknesses, deficits, insecurities, and fears, and turned them into strengths right before our eyes. No one came back from that trip the same — myself included.
God, in His mercy, demonstrated this truth to us. He will use the unlikely. He will use the mismatched and cobbled together team. He will take our best plans and replace them with something even better.
But the question is, will we let Him?
For me, as I return to life here, the answer is a resounding "Yes!", and a humble confession, "God, your thoughts are so much higher than mine and your way is always better. Teach me to rely on You. There is no limit to what You can and will do if I will simply put my full trust in Your plan instead of my own."