2019 Medical Mission Trips
"Freed to Serve"
Routinely, several weeks after returning home from MIVO's most recent mission trip, the leadership team attempts to create a compilation of events and details in order to offer our readers an understanding of the quality and tone of the trip and of the team itself. Many times, the phrase, "There are no words..." is seen embodied in the text of these attempted summaries.
The world at the MIVO clinic is unlike other, more familiar environments to those who follow our foundation and God's work through us. Some readers are familiar as they, themselves have witnessed and been impacted by the freedom that comes as we serve together on this hallowed ground. Therein lies one of the greatest challenges of description. From God's uncanny provision of supplies & medications, to the depth of genuine love poured out by team members upon our Haitian patients and their families, to the palpable presence of the Holy Spirit, this small plot of land with a few concrete brick buildings in the middle of seemingly nowhere is blessed and highly favored! The culture is so rich despite need that is unimaginable to most. The joy of the patients as they worship with us in the morning before we begin clinic is unsurpassed by any congregation in any church this writer has ever witnessed in the United States. Yes, words are difficult to find.
Many know that Haiti was on Level IV security warning per the US State Department during the planning and implementation of this trip. The country remains in the middle of unprecedented trials in regards to their economy since mid-February and uprisings of civil unrest have plagued the country off and on over recent months. There were times, MIVO felt this trip may need to be cancelled as we indeed prioritize the safety of each team member. We are family. These are uncertain times in Haiti. Yet, we, as a foundation and as a team felt we were to persevere in our efforts to make a way when, at times, there seemed to be no way. Ten brave individuals were on this team. Our team grew to 12 upon landing in Port au Prince as two family members of American team members joined us at the airport. All the while, our families and whole congregations were petitioning the Almighty for our safety and for His power to be revealed in these days. Prayers were answered! Our God, as evidenced through this team and our Haitian clinic staff, did not let us down!
MIVO goes to Haiti to offer hope through medical, surgical and spiritual means. What message would have been relayed to the Haitian community if we had simply said, "Sorry, we feel it is not safe to come at this time. We will see you in July."? Where does our hope and our strength lie? Ultimately, each and every member of this team was able to see where it is our strength comes from..... Our travel had never been smoother in this writer's opinion. The same power that raised Jesus from the grave was alive in this team! If we had to pick one phrase to describe this team, it would be "freed to serve". They were so unencumbered by the routine stressors of everyday life and the limits of our physical beings. Their vigilence was infectious! They worked from the time they finished breakfast of eggs and bananas until the last chore of the day was completed. Honestly,the fact that those 12 individuals were able to care for 592 patients and perform over 23 surgeries was an Easter miracle! Each and every person on this team was stretched to the max.....and then they did more. It was amazing........not to mention that the clinic was left more organized, patient-friendly and kid-friendly than ever before!
So many stories could be shared. Accounts of miracle after miracle could be told. Lives were unfolded and changed during our week together there. The combined efforts of our American team and our Haitian team members were exponential in impact! The recently arrived trailer was unloaded with much needed DME utilizing Haitian staff, while Dr. Etienne taught another Haitian orthopedic surgeon trusted surgical techniques to be best utilized in this environment. How many know that "we are better together!" We were so privileged to be used of God as part of His bigger plan to share His love and His story to so many people! Heaven came to earth during the April trip!
Please watch our fall newsletter for further testimonies from this trip. In this summary, not one story, not one team member could be singled out as each and every team member was critically needed in order for the entire team to function and to make the level of difference which we did, in both the physical and the spiritual realms of life. We were small and there was so much need. Yet, we serve a God who is bigger than any challenge we face! Our God is immensely in control and because of that one, paramount fact, together, we "Raise a Hallelujah"!
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