Updated: Feb 24, 2020
When people couldn't visit Haiti, God showed us what He was preparing us for.
When myLIFEspeaks launched in 2012, we had a business plan. That might surprise quite a few people-especially those who know me personally, but we did, and it was a very good one. Our business plan intricately detailed what our vision was and how we would tirelessly work to influence the culture around us with Hope and how we would provide family-based care to children who were orphaned and/or abandoned. We call that Family Empowerment. We knew it would be a process but we also knew it would be very much worth the effort.
Before we knew it, we had grown beyond our original 5 year plan. That was the most exciting 5 months any of us had ever experienced. That's right, our 5 year plan was obsolete within the first 5 months. During that short time we began placing children in families and we began working on the future by laying the groundwork for Educational Excellence & Public Health Impact in Haiti. We were also bringing people to Haiti to experience what we believed God had called us to through short-term Mission Trips. We grew quickly and got to know some truly amazing people who came to visit Haiti (if that's you, say hello).
In 2012 we brought almost 450 people to Haiti on a short-term mission trip, and we were good at those short-term trips, very good. We continued to think of creative ways to immerse people into the culture of Haiti. Those numbers increased each year. We brought over 500 in 2013, 550 in 2014, 600 in 2015, 600 in 2016, and 650 in 2017.
At the end of 2017 we changed the focus on our trips from "mission trip" -which unfortunately has the "go and do for them" philosophy to "Immersion trips" -which allows us to introduce people to Haiti and immerse them in the culture where we live. We were able to bring over 550 people to Haiti in 2018 with an increased focus on immersion into the culture. The best way to say it was, we were on a roll! We began building a Guest House that is both secure and comfortable that allows us to house guests as we begin ministry with 3x more people than we currently have in our sphere of influence.
«All of our US Staff working in Haiti are there because they came on a short-term mission trip. We love introducing people to Haiti.
We hit a few speed bumps in July when protests first rocked the country, but they quickly subsided and we were back to bringing in Immersion Teams once it was safe to do so. In November 2018 Haiti experienced more protests and we were thankful things could "calm down" while many of our American Staff were traveling during the month of December when we had no teams coming in. We were ready to go again in January 2019.
Then...2019 came and we brought 48 people to Haiti in 2019. That's it.