G.P.S. – God’s Passionate Servant

It’s been several months since I last wrote on my blog.  The temporary absence was due in part that I was blessed to lead mission teams into two Caribbean destinations.  The training and planning for these summer journeys consumed much of my time – including the opportunity to write on occasionally on my blog.  Never-the-less, the time and dedication to serve the teams were worth the brief hiatus.  I came away from this experience knowing that each team member was able to passionately serve the people of Jamaica and Haiti!

Jamaica Mission Team

In July this mission group, tagged as “NavySeals10,” truly exuded a raw sense of passion for the people of Jamaica.  Team members were eager to go out each morning to engage the people on the downtown streets of Montego Bay.  And every afternoon on the hillside of the country, the team would spend quality time with inquisitive, yet excited children of Jamaica.

No one exhibited a tepid attitude nor did they become recluse to any of our day-to-day assignment.  These passionate mission servants were willing to do whatever, give to whomever, and go wherever.

Haiti Mission Team

In August this mission group, tagged as the “Fantastic5,” demonstrated qualities of a servant:

  1. They made themselves available to serve.
  2. They paid attention to the needs of others.
  3. They did their best with what they had
  4. They were committed to every task and gave it 100%
  5. They remained faith to the ministry (even after arriving back to the US)

We spent most of our time in an orphanage one hour south of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  Every gentle hug, every smile displayed, every positive affirmation given, and every cheerful expression was intended to speak directly into the heart of our Haitian children.  These passionate mission servants were willing to provide hope and comfort in God.

We are now preparing for next year’s collection of uniquely designed mission travels with an expectation of training and sending 95 passionate missionaries throughout the world.  Do you have a passion for serving others?  Visit my ministry’s website at www.lifewalkmission.org and discover the wonderful opportunities to become a G.P.S.!

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Heavenly Moments in Haiti

By reading the subject of this recent blog, you might disagree with the lexiconic statement. How could “anyone” experience heavenly moments in Haiti? Well, I recently did…

I traveled to Haiti last month on my second mission trip of the year – my year-long mission expedition for www.lifewalkmission.org. Once there, I met other mission-minded travelers who all were enlisted by a U.S. based organization called Adventures in Missions. Unlike other mission travels, I would not know any of my team members before I took that first step onto to the third largest Caribbean nation. Looking back on it now, I’m so grateful to have new relationships with the most incredible individuals who came from all parts of the United States – even one who traveled all the way from London!

Four several hours at the airport, we patiently waited for everyone to arrive on different flights – yours truly was the fourth of eleven travelers appearing through international customs that day. When our last member arrived, we then boarded a bus for Carrefour, Haiti. This hillside hamlet community awaited our presence; a town that is said to be near the epicenter of Haiti’s catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake four years ago.

Our first night was filled with high excitement and group learning activities. As the navy blue skies darkened and the flicker of universal stars began to illuminate ever so brightly above us, our team leader wanted to begin bible study on top of the flat-roof where we slept.

Mission work to me is all about serving and of the many years of mission work, never had I experienced what was to take place that night. It was from the bible passage of John 13 where Jesus performed the most humbled act to his disciples – the washing of their feet! Our humbled and passionate team leader Jonathan M. performed this gentle act to each of us on the cool breezy night on the roof-top.

Jesus’ simple act of foot-washing teaches us the kind of humility God wants us to have. For the rest of the week, the spirit of team unity was so profound and prevalent. No one balked, complained, refused, nor murmured during our time in Haiti. And though our walking travels throughout the town was physically rough and challenging, we were commitment to find the lost, the least and the left.

Each day our team weathered the sweltering heat of Haiti; their perspiration of passion was evident as we played, laughed, and encouraged young kids during Vacation Bible School on the open soccer field in the community. We divided into small teams to canvass the hillside village to speak with those who did or didn’t know Abba father. Toward the end of the week, we put on a skit for the community that displayed how God can be ‘your’ EVERYTHING – a five minute moving exhibit of a person going through the evil temptations on Earth and eventually displaying how God is still there with you through it all.

Our work wasn’t done just yet! Of our last day together, we went to the local public beach to enjoy the quality of time in Haiti. The team realized that one of our members had never been baptized. God was giving us one more instruction – to officiate a candidate for baptism! As we surrounded our sister and prayed together, the waters near the shore grew calm; and the heavenly clouds opened to present the glowing sun above. It felt as if we were in the Jordan River! The angels looking over the balcony of heaven rejoiced that day!

The international community may never show or discuss the positive side of the country – yes, it is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. How strange that one of the richest countries lies at a distance of 90 minutes in flight! Someone said to me years ago, “The world doesn’t have a wealth problem, but a distribution problem!”

While Haiti may be a country with wide-spread poverty, YOU can encounter heavenly moments there!

Let go people and do some good!

The Church Has Left the Building!

While sorting through the bundle of mail pieces last week, I came across a church advertisement from my sister’s church in Southwest Detroit. Occasionally I would receive something from Triumph Church mainly because I financially supported the ministry and believe a movement of God is stirring the souls of Detroiters. In the booklet of scheduled summer performances and worship themes, I came across a month-long sermon series for July entitled “The Church Has Left the Building” – REAL Ministry is Done Outside the Building. For my readers who are from the Millennial age, you may not get the gist of that statement; allow me to explain.

The tag line “The Church Has Left the Building” is a cliché used when the late American singer and cultural icon Elvis Presley departed the stage after performing before a live audience. Because he became so widely popular back in the 70s – concerts goers wouldn’t accept the idea that he was done with his scheduled performances. They would look for more of him – wondering if he would reappear from backstage to do another encore song. Usually after a few minutes, an announcer would signal a statement over the P.A. systems – “Ladies and Gentlemen, Elvis has left the Building!” The statement of course is to inform everyone to go ahead and leave the facility.

So much for the cliché…now back to what I wanted to write about!

Instantly I assumed where Sr. Pastor Solomon Kinloch might be heading with this series – it has the interpretation of being loaded with commissioned based teachings. This incredible minister of the Gospel has an expressionistic way to elevate God’s word to provoke you to ‘go and do!’ This series is scheduled to be delivered for the month of July – great timing for people to hear, decide and be challenged to do!

As I wait to hear more about this series, I reflect on the many other ‘go and do’ opportunities that are available during the summer. One of my mission trips will include Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Last year, we took a small team to the country and make assessment on whether we join another mission ministry there. Here is a small piece of my personal journal of Haiti last year:

The mission focus last year was more of an assessment trip – to see if we would begin a partnership with an existing ministry already on the grounds of Port-au-Prince. Christian Revival Center’s “Mission 2 Haiti” ministry was led by Pastor Freddie Hebron of Savannah, Georgia. A gifted African-American Pastor who spent the last 17 years traveling to Haiti, greeted us at his mission home. Pastor Hebron was there in January, 2010 when the earthquake struck the city.

He has established a network of pastors to work together in the core region of Port-au-Prince – some 25 pastors in all! The mission was and still is to build more schools for underprivileged children. He took us through several poverty-stricken communities. Once we left the country, our mission team prayed about the opportunity, began to share our collected notes, voiced our thoughts and prepared to join his effort this summer.

And while we welcomed the New Year with great enthusiasm, God had another plan for Pastor Hebron. The third weekend in January, he traveled back to the states from begin in Haiti for two weeks (a late Saturday night arrival). Given that he was tired from the travels, he managed to deliver a sermon the following day at this church. Later that evening, he said to his wife “I’m not feeling well, I’m going to bed.” He died in his sleep…

Our Haiti team traveled to Savannah a week later to join others in the home-going. Many church ministries both local in Savannah and churches as far as Mississippi came to support the family. There was a feeling of uncertainty as people wondered if the Mission 2 Haiti will go forward. For seventeen years, Pastor Hebron pretty much did ‘everything’ in Haiti; there was obviously no “second-in-command” person to take over the mission. His wife of almost 25 years stayed devoted in their community food-bank in Savannah. The couple has four adult girls who had their own careers beyond the church ministry. NEVER-THE-LESS, the spirit was so high during the celebration service – the empowerment of God presence told everyone that we must move on! The atmosphere was so evident to go forth and continue what Pastor Hebron worked on.

God willing, we are planning to return to the “Pearl of the Caribbean.” In the next two weeks, we’ll be confirming our team and begin training. I’ve been praying that you would be joining us this year. I know your heart is to reach the lost and teach the found. The people of Haiti need our help – I’m asking you to consider this wonderful opportunity to spread your love to others.

Let go people and do some good!