When Al and I were at some meetings in Miami this past spring, I struggled as we met as an organization and talked about the upcoming summer and got excited about all that God was going to do in and through and in spite of us. My heart was heavy, even though I knew God was at work. Why was my heart heavy? We had location specific breakout sessions. That means, everyone who is connected with Haiti (whether they were consulting for teams or would be leading trips) got together to talk about the specific trips and expectations for the summer. We spent time praying over the summer. Praying for each other. Praying for those who weren't there with us. You see, our Haitian Pelican family couldn't be there. There was a huge gaping hole. Something was missing. 30+ people.
Not everyone is in this picture, this is only about 1/2.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks later. Al and I hosted a staff meeting in Haiti filled with worship, fellowship, encouragement, and prayer over the summer with our Haitian staff. (You can read about that HERE.) Something was missing there, too. I looked around the room. A room filled with passion and young men and women preparing to serve for the summer. Praying that God would use them. Our American Pelican family wasn't there. They hadn't arrived yet for the summer, but as the summer gets going, people are coming and going all the time and we are never in the same place at the same time with teams serving here or there and staff crossing paths for only minutes at a time. (I have been able to see more of the stateside staff this year from time to time--you can read about that HERE.) Jesus prayed for us, as believers, in John 17. In verse 11, He prays this: "And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one." This verse was brought up last Friday. On Friday, I was busy preparing. Preparing to host a gathering for a lot of our staff from the States and from Haiti. It used to be the norm that our teams would arrive on Saturday and leave on Friday, but that hasn't been the case this summer, except for last Friday. We are 7 weeks into a 12 week period when we have teams in the country every week. On Friday, it was the one evening when we did not have one single team in the country. We jumped on that opportunity for us to be together--as many as could be here.
Food, fun, fellowship, and worship. Both countries were represented that night. Not everyone from both countries--oh, how I hope that will happen someday!!!--but a majority from the States and many from Haiti. How good it was for us to be together. To laugh, to worship, to joke, to fellowship. Friends, this was amazing! I want our Haitian staff and American staff to feel like they are a part of one unit. A lot like how Christ desires--as we see in His prayer--for the Church to be united. Friends, keep praying for our staff--both Haitian and American--as we serve together this summer. We are over half way through our incredibly busy season, but there is so much ministry in front of us! We need to be united. We need each other to lift one another up when we get tired or discouraged. Pray that God would continue to use us as we are faithful in serving Him well!