After the trip was cancelled because of civil unrest in Haiti and a potential hurricane scare right before the rescheduled trip, the team of fifteen boarded an early-morning and long-awaited flight to Grand-Guave, Haiti. There was much prayer put into the trip asking for the Lord to do exactly what is best for the Haitians and Him—not what we may have thought to be the best plan—whether that being multiple failures or extreme amounts of success. The team had a couple goals they wanted to complete: make 6-8 picnic tables for an outdoor classroom where we could educate the students on the aquaponics system, revamp the old aquaponics system, finish the new fish tanks from the June trip, fix all the piping, and set up the sun shade over the fish tanks. Once the team landed it was amazing to see all the ways the Lord worked through them and the future possibilities of relationships there.
After waking up every morning at 6:00 and eating breakfast, the team would leave to begin the day with an education portion of the trip. They ran an aquaponics-based camp for a group of Haitian teenagers who are committed to the aquaponic project at MOHI (Mission of Hope International). Each day the teenagers learned about one section of the of the aquaponics system cycle. Along with that, educational labs were done like dissecting fish, testing the pH of the water of a local well, and learning the parts of a plant in both English and Creole. After the educational camp was completed, the team broke up into groups to work on the previously mentioned goals of the trip. Unfortunately, there were some setbacks which, while at the moment may have not made much sense to the team, further showed how the Lord is sovereign and chooses the best plan—not us. The dimensions of the picnic tables for the outdoor classroom were sent earlier to MOHI, so the correct wood would be there when our team arrived; however, the wood pieces were not the ideal dimensions. This caused some difficulty because the table dimensions had to be redesigned in order to work with the wood the team was provided, but even with this obstacle, six tables were made for the outdoor classroom. Additionally, another main goal was to lay the liners in the fish tanks. In order to do this, a certain glue/primer was needed to glue the liners together. This glue/primer had been left from the earlier June trip but was accidentally left open, which resulted in it drying up, and, therefore, it was unusable. Without the primer, the liners could not be placed in the fish tanks. Fortunately, by the Lord’s provision, a new primer was found the next day, tested, and used to install the liners on Friday. Every other goal—revamping the old system, finishing the piping of the system, and setting up sun shades over the fish tanks—were all successfully completed.
One of the main things that the team noticed was how willing to help the Haitian kids were. They were more than willing to learn to do almost anything and help reconstruct the system. It reminded the team how we work better together and are called by the Lord to be in community with others and help others. In addition to this, with the set backs of rescheduling, hurricane scares, and different supplies than expected, it showed the team how the Lord will always provide in the right way He pleases, and how even though we may plan every detail, it is truly by the Lord’s sovereignty and grace that we are able to accomplish anything. He is always in control, does as He pleases, and has the best plan. Finally, when looking at the people and environment of Haiti it was clear of the need there, but even with this need, the community was happy and living life to the fullest. This humbled us to see how much we have while also encourage us to give to others and give thanks to the Lord for all the ways He has plentifully blessed us.
As the Restore 525 class looks to future mission trips, we hope to continue to build real relationships with the kids and community of Grand-Guave. We feel we have reached a point in our project that in order to go forward we need those real relationships and interest in the system for it to continue to work within this community. We would appreciate prayer about these relationships to grow and that the Lord’s will be made clear for how out team can best serve and bring the most glory to God in Haiti. Thank you so much for all your support for our trip and cause, and we look forward to sharing with you more ways the Lord is working in Haiti and the community here in Matthews!