Earlier this summer, another team of 18 medical professionals and supporting volunteers boarded a “red-eye” flight headed for Port-au-Prince, Haiti. For some, it was their first trip to Haiti and for others this was an annual trek. The next 24 hours were challenging with a long flight through the night, plane changes, and sleep deprivation followed by a five-hour bumpy car ride. Arrival in Terre Blanche was sweet! There was a long-deserved stretching of legs, a crowd of smiling Haitian friends greeting us, praise and prayer, a delicious dinner and finally bed.
A medical missions trip is many things, including long days of work and discovering new places in our hearts in which depleted body strength shows us what it means to “pour out our lives” for the sake of others. However, there is a foundational power underneath the whole effort. Before each team launches, the team leaders send out a letter to those close to HFH asking for prayer. What we understand is that it isn’t so much what we do as who we believe is doing the work through us – Jesus, Spirit of our Living God.
We pray for the normal and the extraordinary: team health, safety, political calm, team unity, grace from customs officials, complete delivery of team personal bags and supplies, sleep and rest. When clinic begins we pray for needed translators, healing for those who are sick, access to needed medications, favor with local medical providers, discouraged patients, team endurance, wisdom, patience and so much more.
One of the greatest gifts a team can experience in changing cultures is to have the opportunity to fully experience finding God in all things. There is an awareness that we are not in control and that we truly need the One who goes before us is ever-present.
by Dave Zollner, HFH board member