Sarah shares how her life has been transformed by her time in Haiti, what a blessing she is to so many!
If you would have told me 4 years ago that I would have the passion and love for Haiti that I do today, I would have laughed and said “yeah right”. But thanks to the short term missions trips I have been on with CWO, my passion for Haiti is immense. My first trip to Haiti was a very rough experience. I had panic attacks every single night and was convinced I was not going to make it back to America. After that trip I had come to the conclusion that I would never go back to Haiti. One year later I had the realization that my panic attacks were caused by spiritual warfare and I did not want the devil to win. So, I decided to go back to Haiti and my life hasn’t been the same since. I have gone every summer after that and loved every second of it. God has shown me a love and passion for Haiti that has grown into me wanting to eventually move there and work with kids who are deaf.
This past summer I had the wonderful opportunity to volunteer at the Pignon Christian Center for the Deaf in LeJeune, a small village close to Pignon. The deaf community is not very accepted in Haiti and rarely get an education. The school is a place that provides the children with language and a community where they are loved and accepted. To be a part of that was one of the greatest blessings of my life. God really moved me during my time at the school. He showed me a lot about His character and His love for those who are so often forgotten. One of my favorite parts of the whole trip was getting to watch the kids pray and going to church with them. They do not pray in their heads like we so often do rather they visually express their prayers through sign language. Getting to see their hearts and their faith through their prayers never failed to make me cry. Going to church with them was also a great experience. They could not hear the service yet they were so excited to be in a place where they could praise God. There really is no valley too low, no distance too far, nor any hearing impairment that can separate us from God.
If I hadn’t had the support and encouragement from Greg Yoder, the President of CWO, my family, and CWO to go back to Haiti after such a hard first trip I would have never gotten to experience the true beauty of Haiti. God knew that He had something special planned for me in Haiti. He pursued me and guided me to a place that has captured my heart. The way that I feel God’s presence in Haiti is incredible and my heart finds joy when I’m there. I am so excited to continue going on trips to Haiti with CWO and hopefully move there in the future. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:16
Many of us feel God’s nudging to GO on a short-term mission’s trip. Seeing ministry in action, engaging with a new culture of people, learning how God is working and sharing Jesus with others can be incredibly exciting. Sign me up! But, what about those of us who don’t get that nudge, who don’t feel the need to go? Is a short-terms mission’s trip out of the question? Absolutely not.
It takes more than the go’ers for short-term mission’s trips to be successful.
TELL – Advocating for a team or team member is vital to gathering a community of supporters to send a team. Family members, pastors, church mission’s committees and friends are often more than willing to tell others about your trip and surround you with prayer and financial support. Those who share the message of missions help extend the great commission while being a huge blessing to the team.
SEND – The senders mobilize the team by giving financially and helping to raise funds beyond even their own contributions. They think-outside-the-box for ideas to raise financial support for the team and see a vision to send and support.
PRAY – Arguably the most important part of any team is ongoing prayer. An army of prayer warriors around your team plays a vital role in asking God to prepare the team, keep the team safe, further the mission and share the joy of Jesus.
We can all do our part to open up God’s Kingdom to people around the world by going, telling, sending and praying!
If you would like to be part of a short-term mission team in any capacity, contact us at email@example.com.
Dick Dill — Pastor, Past CWO Board Member, Traveler to Haiti, Short-term Team Member, Advocate for CWO, Teacher for Leadership Development in Haiti, Feeder of Children — reflects on his involvement with CWO over the last 40 years. CWO is grateful for people like Dick who continually help CWO make a difference!
In 1979 I was putting together a short-term mission team for a Project Serve trip to Lima, Peru. The team wasn’t coming together when Dean Yoder, my Youth for Christ Regional Field Director and friend, invited us to join his team headed for Haiti. Having never been out of the country, I thought “why not?” That trip changed my perspective on the world and my life.
It was July 16th when we arrived (my birthday) and 120 degrees on the airport tarmac. The heat percolated the aromas of tar, charcoal and rotting trash. My first reaction was “what have I gotten into?” Then I met the beautiful, gracious and welcoming people of Haiti, who immediately and forever found their way into my heart and life. We worked, we worshipped, we prayed and we experienced God’s great grace together. After our final service at a church where we had done a VBS and painted the interior, a tiny Haitian woman, probably a deaconess, gently but firmly led each member of our team into a small room where they had COLD Coke and some cookies for us. Here we had come to serve and now we were being served!
Over the years, with some breaks, I have returned to Haiti more than 20 times, most recently as part of pastor teaching teams. In that time, my heart was knit to that of Papa Dean, Mama Ellen and their Haitian, African & American families. I was also privileged to serve on the CWO Board for many years. I was inspired by CWO to establish a satellite of Kids Against Hunger, now working with Harvest Pack, to feed starving people in the third world.
I have not met finer, more loving, dedicated people in all my years as a pastor. Christian World Outreach intentionally and lovingly continues to make a difference for the Kingdom of Christ. I have full confidence that the next 40 years will bring more and more of the same, should Christ tarry.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of those who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9
Karen Pasquariello continues sharing her journey of her life as a CWO missionary in Haiti in the early 1980’s.
It’s been a busy summer. The ministry of CWO reaches throughout the entire country of Haiti.
We had our youth camp and leadership training in Montrouis at a primitive camp on the ocean. After the camp I will continue working with the leadership and disciple the 6 women from various Haitian churches.
In Croix Des Bouquets, CWO had a medical team work at a village clinic in the isolated countryside.
In Cazeau we sent a CWO team to paint and put a roof on a mission house.
We opened our beautiful office in Port Au Prince where we can hold leadership meetings, rallies, educational seminars, develop youth programs and follow up on the literacy program.
I had the opportunity to visit a friend’s wedding on the Isla of Gonaive. The 2 hour boat trip over the deep blue ocean on a rickety, local sail boat was a bit exciting. I visited a hospital in Bonne Fin and observed major surgery.
We worked at an orphanage in Carrefour.
The eye of hurricane Allen reached 180 mph winds and it passed 70 miles south from where I lived. We did hurricane relief work in the mountains of Fermathe and transported a very sick Haitian woman to the hospital.
I was attacked by the only monkey on the entire island. So far, no problems, just a bite on my leg and some bruises.
Never a dull moment in the life of a missionary in Haiti.