Lots has happened since I last made an appearance around these parts but we aren’t getting into that at this point. This is a precursor to what is to come over the next week.
On Friday morning, I will be leaving with a group of 9 other men on a mission trip to Leogane, Haiti. Our goal on this trip will be to build “a few” houses. This is a group that I am a long way from qualified to be a part of. First of all: there is roughly 26 years separating me from anyone other than my brother, Ted, who is a modest 6 years my senior. Also, this group is full of men with real construction backgrounds. My dad (you’ll see me refer to him as simply “dad” from here on out), who is leading the trip, not only made his living in the construction world, but this is also his second trip to the area…in the past 3 months. Then there’s Jerry, Robert, Phil, Ted, Sam, and Terry (I’m gonna go ahead and let us all be on a first name basis with each other; it will make future posts far easier) who all have current or previous ties to the construction industry, themselves. Gary is making his second trip down (also in the last 3 months). And Mac has a spirituality that could put us all to shame. Then, there’s me. We’ll figure my role out down the road somewhere. We’ll just call me the utility man of this crew; Aaron Miles, if you will.
Now that we have exchanged pleasantries, let’s get to the task at hand. From my understanding, Samaritan’s Purse and the Arkansas Baptist State Convention teamed up with the goal of building 50 houses (12’X12’ structure with a roof and a front porch) by June. So far, there have been 5 or 6 groups go down, I think (minor, insignificant detail really), and they have successfully erected 26 of the houses. We are the last group left to go before the end of the set agreement. For you math people out there, that leaves 24 houses for our group to get up in a week’s time. We are splitting our group of 10 into 2 separate groups of 5 so we have the best opportunity to accomplish this lofty goal. This wasn’t like picking teams in 3rd grade dodgeball where one team is loaded with talent and the other group is a bunch of scrubs. These are two perfectly divided teams that provide us with an amazing chance to get this thing done.
It is our goal to complete almost half of the original target in a single week. This is when you start to realize why I talked so much about the qualifications earlier. And let’s not kid ourselves, this is a huge task. We are standing at the base of Everest. But the beauty of it all is that it, pretty literally, took an act of God just to open this week up for us to get down there. The more beautiful thing: God made this mountain that we are standing at the base of and he ain’t looking up at it like we are.
None of us know what is truly in store for us in the week ahead. We have our goal in mind, but there is no way for us to know if that is the real reason that God is sending us down there. He may have something entirely different for us that will knock us off of our feet in a totally unexpected way. All we do know is that weeks of prayer have led us to the point where we currently stand and prayer is the only way we will get through the next 8 days. 24 houses in one week is not something that intimidates God. This is child’s play to Him. Sometimes we just need reminding of how weak and powerless we are and this sets up to be one of those times. I, for one, am ready to watch God flex His muscles and show off a little bit for us this week. It is safe to say that all 10 of us will be leaving our comfort zones in a minor way next week, and that is when we are actually able to step out of His way and let Him amaze us. Maybe we’ll finish 24 houses. Maybe we won’t. We won’t know the answer to that until a week from now. But I have zero doubt in my mind that God is going to find a way to change all of our lives and knock to our knees.
So how can you be of assistance to us next week? Continue to pray for us. This is a country and scene that I am probably not prepared for. I have yet to hear a report from someone who said it was better or cleaner than they expected. Traveling to the country is just the beginning of our travel concerns. We, then, have to navigate what is left of the roads everyday. It is the rainy season in Haiti. Rain makes it hard to build houses, from my understanding. They don’t eat like we do here. Energy will be something that all of us lack at different times throughout our journey. And these are just the things that popped in my head while I’m sitting here tonight.
I do not know if this will be the “official” venue for our daily updates, but I plan on giving daily reports of all of our activities on here. So please continue to check in on us everyday and see our progress and see how our prayer concerns change every single day.
This is going to be incredible.
See you all very soon.