After mission trips, Matt invites team members to share personal experiences from the trip. The following article is from Kirby Ballard who was one of the January 2019 Mission Team Members.
I write this after returning from Yvon, Haiti. This was my second trip to Haiti since 2013. In preparing for this trip I had many reservations about me being on this team. Having had a knee replacement in April 2018, I questioned my ability to participate. I also worried about my job and my businesses being managed while I was away. I worried about my motive for going, was it pure and seeking God? All those questions vanished the day we lifted off when I read this scripture in my devotion that morning: “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, ‘Here I am, send me!’ This from Isaiah 6:8. At that point I realized by being available to God’s work, he had a mission for me.
Upon arriving in Yvon, I realized the need for our team. The school addition begun in January 2018 had not been advanced. The community needed not only our physical presence but our relational presence. They needed to know they were valued as believers, loved unconditionally, and cared for as people. During our time we chipped out a rock foundation, poured concrete, filled space with dirt and many more tasks. All this along with our Haitian brothers and sisters in Christ. Our team looked over prior water filtration filters out of concern for our neighbor’s health. Beyond the physical, we ministered to their spiritual needs as well with a men’s and women’s conference, then filled their hands with rice and beans that their families could be fed. It all has brought to my mind the words of Micah 6:8- “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Our willingness to live with the people, eat what they ate, work along with them as well as minister to them is what God wanted framed in the message of Micah.
Upon reflection of this service, the words Paul shared in 2 Corinthians 3:18 come to mind: “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” We have a responsibility to be open before our God, transforming into his image that we may show others by reflecting his glory through what we do. This was illustrated to us by our Haitian friends when we attended church. As we dropped into the valley where the church is located they had already begun singing praises to God. We entered into their worship hearing the sweet sound of their voices thanking God for provision. They showed us their love in their acts of love. Perhaps the one act that touched me the most was when our cooks came forward to share a vocal special for us. Here they had served us literally all week with their talents now with all humility blessed us with their hearts through song. Truly when we all get to heaven what a beautiful sound it will be.
Though as we left to come home, the work project was not finished I knew we had not missed our moments. From praying with a blind man to laughing and playing with the children while breaking bread with the people we had come in obedience to serve. We had made friends in faith. As to the project, well the Haitian proverb best describes the work. It says “Little by little the bird builds its nest.” The proverb also describes my faith walk as little by little God transforms my life into his image. May all glory and honor be his now and forever.