Summer Trip: Blessed & Fulfilled

“Merci beaucoup!”

This is a phrase we found ourselves saying over and over again to HCO’s phenomenal staff and leadership. (You may or may not know this phrase is French/Creole for “thank you very much”.) On behalf of Hazel Dell Christian Church, I want to say thank you, HCO, for guiding a near-perfect trip for our team.

Having just moved into my new apartment and packing the night before we left, the weight of leadership and lack of preparedness was getting to me as new staff member of the church and leader for the trip. However, being alongside our veteran leader and lead Youth Minister, Jimmy Scott, and having Cameron Mayhill, HCO’s US Director, as the liaison for trip, made learning how to lead a mission trip easy.

Our days were very simple. We woke up around 7:00 a.m., made sure to have coffee at 7:30 a.m., and interacted with people or children in a variety of ways. For three of the days we were there, we had the privilege of organizing VBS. The other days, a macho group from our team re-laid a new roof for the kitchen on campus. Another group designed a mural for the wall on HCO’s property.

Sports are a must on mission trip as we all had a blast playing soccer, basketball. We even enjoyed getting our fingernails painted and taking pictures on the gazebo for fun. In one way or another, whether it was labor or play, we interacted with the Haitian people of Peredo, making this trip highly relational. The highly relational aspect was what made the trip for our team and made us appreciate HCO even more.

HCO’s connection with the community of Peredo is highly encouraging and makes it possible for teams like ours to experience the culture as if we lived there. Aside from working and playing, our team had the opportunity to take several day trips, including a trip to a local river. Another trip was to the Peredo market where livestock, exotic food (to us) and clothing was sold.

If you were to ask one of our team members what the pinnacle day trip was they’d probably talk about the 45-minute drive to the beach via a tap-tap (basically a large truck). Upon arrival, we pulled up to a fence with vendors lining up as we were gearing up to make our way to the ocean. Our food that evening was catered by a local restaurant across the street that had set up a dinner-style meal with tables lined up on the sand. After a long week of work and play, being able to eat Haitian cuisine and jump in the ocean was real treat.

If you’re looking for an organization to work with in Haiti that models Christ in their mission and in their character, HCO is the organization for your group. Our team was blessed and fulfilled by what God is doing through HCO in Peredo, and we look forward to partnering with them to do Kingdom work in the future.

Connor Wood
Youth Ministry Associate
Hazel Dell Christian Church

Photos courtesy the HDCC Dropbox and Summer 2017 interns.

Learn more about taking a trip with HCO: Short-term Trips