Why Go on a Mission Trip with GVCM?
Haiti offers a diverse set of experiences and opportunities to serve and learn. Haiti is a land of stark contrast. You will see breathtaking mountain vistas and pigs rooting in huge piles of trash. You will meet people overflowing with joy and people mired in despair. There is a lot to love about Haiti and a lot of things that clearly need to change.
Visiting Haiti is a deeply moving experience that provides your team with a wide variety of opportunities to make a difference. Haiti has a tremendous amount in common with Sub-Saharan Africa (culturally, ethnically, and linguistically). The main difference is Haiti is much closer to the US and Canada, so you spend less of your limited time and money on airfare, and more on the people you’re setting out to serve.
Because of GVCM’s wide range of ministries and communities, your imagination is your limit on what your trip looks like and what you accomplish.
How can my team help?
There is always something to do for teams of any age or skill level. The most valuable projects to us are ones that are fairly self-directed once you arrive in country (other than the need for transportation and a few interpreters). The more you return, the more relationships you will build and the more effective you will be at identifying and meeting needs. Your team can likely do some combination of the following things during your visit:
- Mobile Medical Clinics: If your team has some medical expertise, you can set up mobile medical clinics in our local church communities. You would be surprised, but a team of 6-7 non-medical staff with only 2-3 nurses or doctors can make a big impact in rural communities.
- Technical Work: If your team has some people with technical skills such as photography, plumbing, mechanical work, carpentry, painting, electrical work, etc., we may have some projects for you. If we don’t, those skills are always great when taught as classes.
- Funded Construction: We don’t have a lot of shovel-ready projects sitting around, because we would have already hired Haitians to complete them. In Haiti, goods are expensive, but low-skilled labor is cheap and we employ Haitians whenever possible. If your team is willing to fund the materials for a project, we can almost always find one for you to complete and hopefully get some Haitians working alongside you.
- Evangelism and Distribution: Our local Haitian churches are constantly spreading the good news to their communities, but you may be able to help! Going door to door with translators and a local pastor is a great way to invite community members to a local church. Sometimes you may be able to give something away (such as water filters or eye glasses) as a way to facilitate interaction, but we would prefer that be linked to teaching or work, so that the recipients have to learn or do in order to receive something. We find that merely handing things out is a great way to attract a crowd, but a poor way to make lasting change.
- Teaching: One of the most valuable things the missions teams can do is teach. There are three basic audiences that you can teach at GVCM: our staff, the children in the orphanage, or the people in our communities. You will have to do some work to tailor your subject matter to a Haitian context, but the more you do it, the more intuitive that will become.
- Staff – you could host workshops for school teachers, biblical instruction for pastors, educate medical personnel in our clinic, teach skills like trauma awareness or nutrition to orphanage caretakers.
- Children in the orphanage – you can provide biblical instruction (Vacation Bible School), technical instruction (carpentry, sewing, plumbing, etc.), life skills instruction (such as the basics of personal finance), or academic instruction. English especially is something your team is likely skilled in which is very valuable to kids in the orphanage. Many of the classes mentioned could be taught to children in the community as well.
- Communities – The people who attend our churches and school (either children or adults) can always learn something from a well-prepared class. In addition to the classes mentioned above for children you could also teach on nutrition, sanitation, vocational training, marriage, parenting, or English.
- Learning and Connecting: There is an aspect of your trip that is about you learning and experiencing. We totally understand that! After all, GVCM is here to support the global Church, not just the church in Haiti. If visiting us motivates you to get more involved in your own community and congregation, then we’re pleased to be a part of your journey. Your visit will contribute to the local economy and to paying our Haitian staff a living wage. You will also build relationships with both children and adults. You can ask questions, answer questions, and participate in cultural exchange. The world isn’t going to change in a week, but God can use your visit to encourage you and the people of Haiti to become more like Him.
For more information or to schedule a trip, contact our missions coordinator, [email protected]
To learn more about what to expect, check out the mission trip manual below, or look at our frequently asked questions.
“Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” 1 Chronicles 16:24