Saturday, May 22, 2010

Heading to Haiti

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. 


Heidi said...

What an exciting opportunity! We will keep you and your girls in our prayers that all goes well on both ends!

JD said...

Your family has been in my prayers, Greg, will continue with these new prayer needs.

The timing is in God's hands, and I look forward to seeing what He has in store for this season in your life.



Hannah said...

That's awesome! It sounds like God wants you there. I'll be praying for you guys!

Michelle Found said...

You are definitely taking your candle and going to light the world!
Safe travels.
I'll also be thinking of you all on May 27th. Don't worry.... Luke's waiting for you and in the meantime is having a wonderful time with Jesus. :o)

~Michelle Found
Picton, Ontario, Canada

Anonymous said...

Here is a Haitian missionary blog with several other on the ground bloggers listed as well. I have been following them since Jan. Just FYI - food for thought, whatever. These NGO's are working hard.
GO WITH GOD! Praying. Sherri in GA

Anonymous said...

My thoughts and prayers will be with your family especially during the next couple of weeks! God Bless you for doing this.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family, especially these next couple of weeks. God Blessings!

Paige said...

Well, I think this is the BEST blog post I have read in a long time! I am so excited for you and all that will happen in Haiti...
And I will be praying for you this week and next week. The Lord will bless you and Nicol as you sacrifice time together during a difficult anniversary to serve others.

Don't forget your camera...I want to see pictures!!


Anonymous said...

Greg, I'm praying for you and Nicol this week. I heard a new song by Nicol on WMBI yesterday. The words were so profound and I thought of you both in your two year walk of grief. May God's presence strenghten you both. I'll also pray that everything goes well in your Haiti trip.


Laura said...

Wow is all that I can say. I've followed your blog and I so appreciate your openess. Praying for you and all that GOD has in store for you on this mission.

May the LORD richly bless you.

Kristin said...

I will be praying for you. My dad took my son (13) to haiti after Christmas and returned 1 week before the earthquake hit. Haiti is special to all of our family.

My dad started a Kids Against Hunger packaging site in Sioux Falls, SD and sends 75% of the food packed there to Haiti...last week he was asked to come and visit again and was pleased to see empty KAH bags littering the ground.

Prepare yourself to be overwhelmed...the conditions are poor...I mean worse than we can imagine...but there is hope there too.

My prayer is that you will be a light to the Hatian people and that God will bless your time there as well!


sheila said...

We continue to pray for you and your family. Thank you for your willingness to God's direction. In God's Love, sheila

Anonymous said...

I think people who have suffered as you and Nicol and Summer have are the best possible envoys to attend to people suffering in post-earthquake Haiti. They've experienced something that destroyed their world, but so have you, and you can "go there" to the place of their pain far easier than any of us who live in intact houses (and families).
May the Lord bless you in the journey, and in all the choices and decisions you may make when you return.