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Guest Bloggers!!!

I love guest bloggers 🙂 It is like getting someone else to do your work for you 😀 No, really, it is nice to be able to share from someone else’s perspective and to see things from an outside vantage point.

One week ago the Pine Grove team flew out after doing a week of Intensive English in the school. They were kind enough to each leave a little message for the blog, and since I am a firm believer in “Better late than never” 🙂 I am going to post them.

On a snowy, cold (-13°F) December 6th at 7:30am a group of six of us left from Pine Grove Community Church in Northern Wisconsin. After a series of flights and meeting up with one more team member we found ourselves in Haiti, surrendered to God. However, this was not the beginning of our mission and there were more than just six of us involved. In fact, this was an all-church mission trip.

Weeks before we departed it was decided that we desired to have our entire church involved in the work God was going to do. We invited the congregation to be engaged and the response was truly amazing. God raised up people to pray, give financially, donate items, provide encouragement, drive us to the airport, develop curriculum, and probably many others things that I’m not aware of. Our mission trip to Lemuel has brought our church together in a wonderful way and was in fact an all-church endeavor.

One of the greatest aspects of the trip was the building of relationships. Our team that traveled together enjoyed spending time with each other. We grew closer together and had many laughs along the way. We also cherished the time we had with the Lemuel staff, the kids at the school, and the people of the Plateau. We were well received and always greeted with a smile. The level of hospitality we experienced truly blessed us. It was wonderful meeting new people and spending time together. We would love to visit again someday, but we’ll leave that up to the Lord.

We were able to see God work in many, many ways as the posts by those who went indicate. The Lord was orchestrating events and details in our planning stages, during the travel, in our time on the Plateau, and even on our return to Wisconsin. We would ask for your prayers as we continue to process our experience.

Though we are now many miles away from Haiti and the Plateau, our lives are changed. We have a deeper love for people and a greater desire for the glory of Jesus. May He continue to work in our lives and all of yours as well. God is good and we give Him all the praise!

Pastor Jeff O’MalleyPastor of Family Life and DiscipleshipPine Grove Community Church

Other team members wrote:

~Throughout this week I’ve been reminded over and over how big God is. Yet He has shown himself in so many small ways the care of any physical issues of our team, the smile of a little boy and the translated words of a mother. Our great God takes care of all things great and small.

~I can’t say enough about the Lemuel staff. I came hoping to encourage and build them up, and I hope I have but all I know is that I am defiantly learning fuller than when I came. Their abundant smiles, generous hospitality and total surrender to Christ have been such an inspiration. Their lives for Christ shine so brightly and is radiating throughout the Plateau and especially through the school kids. Talk about bright, beautiful smiles. I have never seen smiles so bright and am thankful to have captured a few of them on camera. What a blessing this trip has been. I am excited to start processing all that I have seen, heard and experienced this week as well as seen what Christ has in store for me as a result.

~I had a really great week at Lemuel Ministries. They were a great encouragement to me personally in my walk with Christ. So many people have surrendered their comforts and some their entire lives to serve the LORD here at Lemuel. I learned that if they can do this so can I. Am I giving up my life to service of Christ? Am I ministering to people even when it’s out of my comfort zone? Lemuel challenged me to think about these things. And now I pray that I will apply it to my everyday life.

~As I woke up this morning, the usual sounds of the Plateau brought a smile to my face followed soon after by the realization that this is our last day at Lemuel. This is sure to be a bittersweet day of emotion. The children were already asking yesterday if we would be back “tomorrow,” so its evident that they are also fully aware of our imminent departure.The staff here at Lemuel have been amazing as usual. They have been trained very well and their gracious service has been a huge blessing to our team. There have been significant changes on the Lemuel landscape demonstrating the team efforts that have been made in working to pursue the vision of the ministry. The results of their diligence is nothing short of amazing and very clear example f God’s hand in the ministry.

It has been a great experience this week as the unity of our group has progressed each day. It’s always praise-worthy to me when God’s direction and timing develops into something better then we could ever plan. In addition to our time working with the kids in the school, we have had the opportunity to visit with the community which has provided a perspective that we will carry forward. The reality of the challenges here leave me with one goal for today….to submit to the power of each moment that we have left.

We are really proud of our staff in all departments (school, hospitality and development) for their hard work in preparing for and receiving not only this team, but ALL our teams and visitors.

There are two more posts but there is a bit of a story behind those so I will leave them for another day 🙂

Thank you Pine Grove for being part of our lives and our community for a week! Thank you for investing your time, energy, sweat and love into our students.

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