Youth Mission Trip
This year the Youth Ministry here at Lenape Valley has decided to participate in a global mission this year. We are going to be going to Haiti to help them in constant battle against poverty. This trip will take place on June 23rd through June 30th. We are partnering with an organization called Poverty Resolutions. They are taking us down to Haiti and housing us as we go out into the community and complete different projects everyday. YDT and Session have all agreed that this would be a great opportunity for the kids and a new opportunity to partner with a great organization.
The decision making process in going to Haiti was in some ways difficult but in other ways very easy. We know of the organization of PR through a number of congregation members and had heard great things about their organization but still had some reservations as to whether this would be something families would be on board for doing and about traveling to a poverty stricken country. A group of individuals dedicated to the youth and their families met with Matt and Andrew from Poverty Resolutions to ask questions, express concerns and get a feel for what the possibilities were when it came to doing mission abroad. After talking with them and doing research on other organizations serving Haiti, PR stood out as both an exemplary model for service and the biggest bang for our buck. PR has both a sense of bringing hope to a broken nation and tools for building a bright future. The perfect combination of practical knowledge and Christ’s mission come together in PR’s vision for bringing up self-sustainable individuals passionate about both sharing the Good News of Christ with others but also for the betterment of Haitians. We are excited to be working alongside others from Bucks County to make a difference in the lives of Haitians and the members of this faith community.
Poverty Resolutions is a nonprofit organization committed to working toward the eradication of poverty and the infusion of hope. In 2010, the nation of Haiti was rocked by a devastating earthquake. With hearts bent toward helping those in need, Andrew and Matthew Jones felt called to do something, but they didn’t want to simply react to the earthquake. Rather, they wanted to attack the systemic poverty underlying the inability to recover from a natural disaster and help create lasting, sustainable change.
Click Here to read posts from their blog to see what our experience in Haiti will be like!
The Inspiration : 1 Dollar poverty
One in six people worldwide live on less than $1.25 per day. Half of all Haitians live on less. These staggering statistics are very meaningful to Poverty Resolutions. In 2010, after the Haiti earthquake, over one dozen individuals traveled to Haiti in order to learn and experience life on the ground there, network with humanitarians equipped to help Haitians, and then later educate Americans about poverty and the situation in Haiti.
Matt, Andrew, Chris and Jon spent 28 days living in solidarity with earthquake refugees in a Port-au-Prince tent city, each surviving on $1 per day. They set guidelines in order to accurately mirror the Haitians who have no choice but to live in that situation.
- Spend only $1 per day on food, supplies and drinking water
- Live in a Haitian tent city with one blanket or sheet
- No toiletries: no toothpaste, no deodorant, no soap
- Cannot accept food from Haitians
- Two sets of clothes per person
- No laundry facilities
Dollar a day poverty video (4 men, 28 days, $1 a day)
There are currently two major projects that Poverty Resolutions is working on in Haiti.
1. The Transitions Center
Many young Haitian men find themselves without a job or a means of self-support. Orphanages will often release them by the age of 18. They have no marketable skills, no place to live and, often, no one to help them grow into responsible, mature adults. Ultimately, these young men will continue in a cycle of poverty and hopelessness unless provided a way to transition between orphanage care and independent living. We believe that personal mentoring, job training, and basic education in business and general life skills can provide hope and a way to support one’s self for young men between 16 and 24 years old. This is the foundation for our current Transition Center project.
By growing plants and food in the protected conditions of a greenhouse, families have a much higher success rate of harvesting and utilizing the food they grow, thus providing their family with much needed nutrition. Since most Haitians live on less than $1 per day, growing food in a controlled environment with seeds and with good soil, they will be able to spend less while growing more for their family. Harvested food not only provides nutrition but also the potential for income. Any food beyond what a family needs can be sold, providing money for the family to make other household purchases, save or send their children to school.
Even outside of these major projects, when we take our trip to Haiti, we will have the opportunity to help in orphanages, construction to other buildings, and VBS. Everyday we will have the choice of doing something different to benefit the area and the people in Haiti.
There are a number of goals for this trip. The first is for us to be servants, both to God and His people in Haiti. As followers of Christ we are called to help others, and in doing so we obey His command to love our God and our neighbors. The second goal is to form a lasting relationships. We want to make this the first in an ongoing string of trips to Haiti and the beginning of a partnership with Poverty Resolutions. As an organization who helps us serve others, we become more mindful both of those in need around the world as well as in our own community. We hope this will be a catalyst for LVC, its youth, and their families to become more aware of poverty and to take action in serving others in need globally and locally.
It is always the goal of mission to serve others and to open our eyes to the needs of others. But something that almost always comes out of service is a greater understanding of compassion toward others. It is easy to say, ‘let the problem fix itself,’ or ‘they got themselves into their own mess,’ or ‘let someone else deal with it.’ But if we let God soften our hearts, we can learn so much more than the fact that there are needy people out there. We can learn the stories of others who are suffering, maybe in ways that we ourselves have suffered. And through learning these stories, we come to find that, like the Bible tells us through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we are all children of God. We are all sinners in need of a savior. And, though we sometimes seem quite different to each other, we are all won in Christ.