Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Haiti: "Team Squirt" - Thirteen Ordinary People on a Mission!

Departure from PA -- on our way to meet the Nashville crew!

On March 16, 2012 a group of ten very ordinary people gathered together in Latrobe, Pennsylvania at a very small airport to say their farewells to family and friends before boarding a plane for Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where they would meet up with three more very ordinary people (not present in this picture because they were flying in from Nashville, Tennessee). 

This group of 13 people would form what would affectionately be named "Team Squirt" (to be explained in another post) or more formally known as the "Haiti Mission Team" sponsored by the Somerset Church of Christ.

The team consisted of two busisnessmen, two nurses, one doctor, one medical transcriptionist, one teacher, one valet manager, one assistant locations manager for the film industry, one preacher, two students, and one granny.  Ordinary people with quite diverse backgrounds. 

I'll be the first to admit that I wondered how this "team" would do being confined in such tight quarters that everybody knew when the other had to use the bathroom.  Would there be arguments when the days were hot and everyone was dusty and sweaty?  Would there be impatience with the lack of "stuff" that we were used to such as hot showers, private space, comfy beds, and daily trips to get some Starbucks coffee? Would we get on each other's nerves?  Would we be able to bond and work well together as a team?   

My mind was full of questions.  My heart was excited, but also filled with fear.  Yet, here I was........boarding the plane, taking off for a world totally unknown to me. 

I sucked in my breath and uttered a prayer as I sat down in my seat on the plane.  "God, please get me through this week and get me back home in one piece!"   

Little did I know what all God had in store for me and "Team Squirt."  I promise that as you follow along with these blog posts you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll ask questions, and most of all you'll understand how God uses everyday, ordinary people to carry out extraordinary things in His name in order to honor and glorify Him.

Clara (Granny)
PS  Look out team members 'cause I'm telling all!   There will be no secrets in this blog including the many adventures of Mary Ann's Vera Bradley bag! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Nine Days 'til Haiti!

It seems like only yesterday that this trip to Haiti was just an idea.  But, here it is only nine days until departure! 

For those who have followed this blog you know I was fearful of so many things:  the frogs, the unsafe water, the mosquitos, no hot water, consuming only rice and beans with occasional chicken feet for daily food, and sleeping under mosquito netting. My biggest fear of all was of the emotional impact this would have.  Visually seeing so much pain and not being able to take it all away is still a concern of mine. 

Until.....I began looking at the photos from past trips to Haiti.  The children are smiling.  The adults are gracious and thankful.  There are beautiful children everywhere!  And, I've been told that God will never be more real to me than when experiencing a worship and praise service while in Haiti!  So many blessings are waiting to touch our lives when we enter that sweet land of Haiti!   

I'll close out today's thoughts with this.  One of our team members has never flown and she was very anxious.  Another expressed his fear of flying on a small, crowded plane.  Yet another spoke of his anxiety knowing we will be embarking on a journey with so many unknowns.  Then, a teenager on the team spoke to his mom and asked a simple question of faith.  "Do you know where you are going when you die?"  "Of course!  I'm going to heaven!"  Then, came the words we all needed to hear.

"This trip is a win-win.  If all goes as planned, countless people will be blessed by this trip.  And, if the worst fear comes true -- if death should occur -- you've reached the goal.  You've won the prize.  You will enter into the gates of heaven!" 

"Fear not, for I am with you."  Isaiah 41:10 

Haiti, we are almost there....and we're all wearing smiling faces because we know with complete assurance that "all is well."