About a month and a half ago, our church started a viral campaign called 10 For Haiti in order to raise money to give to the relief efforts going on in Haiti in the wake of the destructive earthquake that struck back in January. The idea behind it is for each of us to ask ten people to donate $10 to the campaign and ask those ten people to ask ten additional people to donate in the hopes that the whole idea would spread – much like a virus would spread through human contact. All of the proceeds are being sent to an organization called Mission of Hope Haiti (MOHH). It is a nonprofit Christian organization based out of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti and one of the cities hit hardest by the earthquake. Every week, it sends out a plane filled with food, water, medical supplies, doctors, nurses, and any other volunteers willing to devote themselves to serving the devastated Haitian’s. They have already delivered over 1 million meals to date and continue to provide daily.
Our church was challenged to step outside of our comfort zones and ask those around us to donate to this cause because it is not just a great opportunity that we have to help people, it is our job (Titus 3:14). People planned fundraising dinners, ultimate frisbee tournaments, addressed their classes, anything they could do to raise money. I was permitted to speak to three of my four classes and my classmates gave $110 to the cause. Three weeks ago, Denny (our pastor) met with the MOHH president, Brad Johnson, and handed him a check from our church for $10,000 – a shocking number for a church made up almost entirely of students from UT. To put that into perspective even more, the planes that MOHH sends out every week each cost about $20,000. So in just over a month, we have been blessed enough to have the opportunity to pay for half of one of those planes.
It has been amazing to watch the reaction from the UT campus as well. For a community so broke on cash, students across the university are so willing to donate in the name of helping people. God’s grace has been evident to us in a major way as money continues to pour into this campaign, all of which is being given straight to MOHH. If you are interested in donating, click HERE and check out the Mission of Hope Haiti website at www.missionofhopehaiti.org in order to hear about what they are doing as well as read their blog which has some incredible stories throughout.
On a more personal note, I will be leaving on Saturday morning with a group of students from our church on a trip back to Omaha, Nebraska where we will be spending time with the pastors of Coram Deo, the church that let me intern for them over the summer, in order to learn all that we can from a church that has a functional idea of how to live on mission for their city. Alongside our trip, there will be seven others sent to various places around the country and overseas to serve the Lord with their talents and bring back new knowledge and motivation to engage Austin and the UT community. My girlfriend Brittany will be traveling to Beirut, Lebanon where she and a group of others will partner with a ministry that is already in place in order to see how they are being intentional with the Islamic community.
Over 1/2 of our entire church attendance will be traveling on these trips over the next week. If you would keep us in our prayers, we would all greatly appreciate it. This will be a time when we will be seeking to follow the Lord in all that He has in mind for our. Pray for eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts of flesh to learn what God wants to teach us. If I were to suggest anything else for you to bear in mind while praying for us, I would simply ask that you pray for God’s Will to be done and not our own. I have been convicted lately that I often turn to prayers of self-preservation when preparing to head out on a trip like this. I pray for safe travel there and back, for a good time, etc. In my experience with God and with Scripture, I have noticed that He never promises comfort. His Will is often very different from our own and when It is done, regardless of how It is done, He is good through it all.
We will have a blog for our trip that a girl in our group will be posting on throughout the trip. When we create it, I will be sure to pass along the URL. Thank you all for your support. I look forward with anticipation to see what God has planned for us over the next week and to sharing those stories with you once we have returned.