Compass Church – Week #1

On August 8, 2017 by Bethany

I feel a little guilty getting to start off our reporting with this first week!

Eric and I had the incredible privilege to lead our team from our home church in Arkansas, Compass Church (along with my beautiful Momma)!

This is the third year for our partnership in Manze Marie, Jacmel, Haiti, with Pastor Elbarre. Last year, we cut our trip short due to some complications in my pregnancy with Atticus, but this year we were able to come full circle and have Atticus with us on this trip!

To read in detail about our trip, check out our trip journal!

So in keeping with tradition from years past, Eric and I wanted to share a short recap, our main highlights and of course, a ton of photos!

For this trip, our team split into two groups. One team was a medical team, which partnered with the local Community Clinic of Cayes, Jacmel. The other was a ministry team that spent the week in Manze Marie doing construction, VBS, and continuing to build relationships in the community.

I, Bethany, got the chance to hang out with our medical team everyday, partnering at the clinic!  This clinic has been impressively overhauled in the past year or so, thanks to the new Cuban leadership and the hard work of their team of Haitian and Cuban staff and medical personnel who work together to see this area of the country get free medical care. They are even doing mobile clinics every Saturday in the surrounding communities, as well as after their doors close at clinic each day at 1:00, they go into the surrounding communities for home visits. They also keep a emergency room open 24/7.

Through our partnership with Pastor Elbarre, we partnered with Doctor Jean Kernel, a Haitian doctor in Cayes Jacmel, and he connected us to his clinic. We had an awesome week serving there!

A few of my highlights:

  • Seeing our immediate receptive invitation into partnership from the Cuban side of the clinic – from the director, Jorge, to every member of staff, they took us in and extended a beautiful hand of partnership to us. We were blown away by their immediate excitement to share their culture with us. Can anybody say “free espresso all day?”
    • I loved watching our team be incredibly patient and flexible with the extra language barrier, the learning curve of how their clinic ran, us being folded into their programming and their continued heart of understanding and humility as they entered into this new partnership. For us as trip leaders, when having mission teams who act in this way is so refreshing and exciting. I couldn’t be more proud of my home-church and their hearts and attitude!
  • Jack and Edison had to be a huge highlight for me this week. Edison was struggling with transitioning to the newness of life in Haiti and Jack (age 7) was crucial in helping him adapt. They are good buddies at home, and so having him there was like icing on the cake for Edison. They paired up and Jack just kept him under his wing throughout the whole week, and helping him serve. Jack, you were such a trooper and you handled everything about this big world that you were learning with such grace and integrity. You taught all of us that age is indeed a number, and you challenged me continually each day with your beautifully innocent questions and thoughts on the world. I can’t wait to see how the kids in Manze Marie go nuts when you come back in the future!
  • Lastly, my highlight for this week personally was how my church rallied around Eric and I. I was really struggling with guilt since Edison was having a hard time adjusting and Eric and I essentially work from sunup to sundown and so we weren’t seeing him but for a few scattered moments each day… which wasn’t helping. And it was just hard. Plain hard. And our church was 100% on our side. It helps that the majority of team were people that Edison is very close with and that we know very well, including our PJ (my mom). And they ministered to us. They encouraged us in our ministry and they encouraged us in our family. They spoke into us as parents, as missionaries, as trip leaders and as friends. And we ended the week with our mouths hanging open, amazed at how full our souls and hearts felt. We felt seen. We felt heard. We felt loved. And we didn’t feel alone. And if I’m being honest, that is not a feeling you get all the time in the missions world. We were so incredibly blown away by how our church poured into us. And for that, we are so thankful.

Eric’s highlights:

  • It was so great to just simply be back in Haiti with Bethany, our boys, and our church family. We work with a lot of groups from a lot of different places, but there’s just something special about having your own family and friends with you. It’s sometimes tough for people back home to understand what our life looks like when we are away traveling, so having people from our home church getting to have a taste of what we do while we are in Haiti is like a breath of fresh air.
  • Related to my first point, it was amazing to have Bethany back in Haiti! Many of you know that she had to take a break from travel while she was pregnant with Atticus, so I can’t describe how great it was to have her back by my side. She was a little worried that her Creole had suffered while she was away, but it took no time at all for her to find her words again.
  • After seeing how this trip unfolded given the events of Compass’ last trip to Haiti, I believe that God did a huge redemptive work in our church’s ministry in Haiti. It would have been easy to justify pulling back on the ministry in Haiti, but instead our leadership continued with full faith that God was working in ways we didn’t understand. It’s easy to see from the increased involvement of the church (almost three times as many participants on the trip this year) and the surprises that came about from the medical ministry that God is definitely in the middle of what is happening here.

Lastly, for everyone who attended this trip, the main highlight was that our partnership clinic is going to be adopting Manze Marie, our local church partnership, into their mobile-clinic routines, taking their medical expertise to the mountainside, where people struggle to get down the mountain and into Cayes, Jacmel in time to visit the clinic. This was a HUGE answer to prayer, since our team has been doing mobile clinics there for a few years, but we desired to find something much more sustainable than a once a year or twice a year clinic. Praise God He knew exactly what He was up to!

All in all, this trip was one for the books for our family and we absolutely had a blast.

Thanks Compass for an awesome week!


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