It all started on Wednesday with a v-mail from a friend and it went like this...
"Gregory, hey it's Petak. Let me float this idea by you. It's wild and it's crazy. I know that a lot of things would have to fall into place for this to happen, but here it is. The first contingency is this. Are you free May 29th to June 5th? If you are, do you have any interest in going to Haiti with me on a reconnaissance mission to land the plane with what Fellowship is doing by way of a partnership with Haiti? I know the 27th is the anniversary of Luke's death. I know that's going to be very, very hard, so I'm mindful of that, and maybe a May 29th departure is too close to that. Totally understand, but wanted to see if this is a possibility. Call me. See ya. Bye."
A little history...
Who's Petak? -- Brian Petak is the Global Outreach and Equipping Pastor at Fellowship Bible Church (FBC) in Brentwood, the church we've been attending since moving to Nashville. He's also our community group leader, a really good guy and a valued friend.
What's the reconnaissance mission? -- In the two months following the massive earthquake that struck Haiti last January, FBC received more than $100,000 in funds designated for relief efforts. Brian and the leadership team have been actively pursuing strategic partnerships in Haiti to determine the best use of those funds. This trip, in part, will be focused on solidifying those partnerships. We will also be joining a Fellowship Student Ministries (FSM) team, which will be serving in orphanages, helping with various construction projects, and ministering in local schools, churches and villages.
What things would have to fall into place? -- Two immediate things: (1) I had to find my passport, which was somewhere in our storage unit (emphasis on the 'somewhere' part). No passport, no travel. Here's the cool thing: Brian had a hold on an airline ticket for me, but it was set to expire at around 3pm on Thursday. I literally pulled my passport out of a file cabinet at about 2:57 and immediately texted Brian with the news (I think I typed 'Score!!!'). He called me a couple minutes later to confirm. Total answer to prayer. (2) I had to get my immunizations and malaria meds and was able to get both on Friday. A big thanks to Nicol for making some phone calls and to Jenny (???) at Passport Health in Brentwood who stayed at the office 2 hours late to help me out. Another answer to prayer.
May 27th -- If not for the awful reality, it would be impossible to believe that this Thursday will be the second anniversary of Luke's passing. As I type, I'm looking up at his photo... the one where he's sticking his tongue out. It's still just so hard to believe he's not with us. Those eyes. That hair. His sweet spirit. What a beautiful boy. Thursday will be hard, this whole week is going to be hard. My first thoughts about going to Haiti were that the timing is bad and that it wouldn't be a good idea to leave Nicol right now. But she is ALL for it and I'm so thankful for that... but it is going to be hard to be away from her and Summer.
So there you go. Lord willing, I'll be in Port-au-Prince one week from today. I'll get details out as I have them (as quickly as this has come together, I've yet to look at all the info regarding itinerary, packing, what to take, what not to take, etc.) and as I have time (there's a lot to get done!). In the meantime, maybe you could be praying... I'll give specific requests in the next several days, but for now just pray in whatever way you may think of.