My cousin, Casey, is preparing to embark on her first mission trip shortly! If you’ve ever met her or read my Rollin with my Oklahomies post, you already know she’s a spitfire. We’re only 9 months apart in age so I’ve watched her grow from a knobby-kneed little girl with a bright blonde bowl cut to a passionate, caring, and capable wife and mother (with much better hair, thankfully). When she told me about this opportunity, I knew we had to do an interview on this blog. Enjoy!
Casey and Emma at the zoo!
Casey, thanks so much for letting me drag you on to my blog! I’m super excited for your upcoming mission trip to Haiti with One Church in Elk City, Oklahoma. Thanks for answering some questions!
- What is the purpose of this trip?
The purpose of this trip is to accomplish one of God’s commands to go and proclaim him to all nations as well as to serve others. I currently serve as a Sunday School teacher for the 3 and 4 year olds at my church, and I have been involved with my fair share of church ministry projects.
I have read some discouraging comments about mission trips online, like “…How much good could you possibly do by only being in country for a week or less…” and “…by doing this work for them, you are poaching potentially paid positions from locals…” To address the first discouragement, you cannot put a limit on the amount of good or the impact of even just meeting a person or even just passing them on the street. I have repressed the majority of my childhood, but I will always recall this one pen pal I made when my family and I camped at Pocahontas Camp Ground in Virginia. She and I kept in touch as children but have of course drifted apart and do not speak or even know where the other one is but she had one of the most positive, fun, kind, and upright characters I have encountered. I recall this to support the fact that I only spent a couple of days with this girl but even as a woman in her late 20s I still remember her spirit. How much could this happen while in Haiti or any other country for that matter?
Now to address the second discouragement, the particular organization we will be serving with is Mission of Hope, Haiti; they have been established in Haiti for the past 15 years. Our team will help paint some of their schools on the Mission of Hope campus, install water filtration systems to some village residents, and plant trees (equipment is purchased with donations from One Church Elk City). Every non-profits’ pulse beats by the drum of the volunteers they receive. Check out Mission of Hope’s website to see how they are empowering Haitians to build a future for themselves, through education and job placements: www.mohhaiti.org
- Is this your first mission trip and is this the first time you’ve traveled outside of the US?
This is my first mission trip and to be honest I’ve always sensed a pull to go on a mission trip but always thought I was “not a good enough representation/specimen of a Christian.” I have learned that no such thing exists because every person on this earth is guilty of something, your guilt of sin does not define you, your acceptance and pursuit of Christ does. I have been out of the country only once to the Bahamas for spring break while I was in college. It was a wonderful experience that I will not forget. I loved the travel and am grateful for the family that took me along with them.
- What was it about Haiti that made you want to join this mission trip?
I’ve had a special interest for Haiti since my semester of Geology with UNCW when I wrote a paper on the deforestation effects they experience. No I am not a Haitian expert nor do I speak their local French-based creole dialect. I do speak a little French. I have favored the Caribbean area for their rich history, culture, and ecology for 8+ years.
- What are you most excited about?
I am most excited about what God will do on this trip, that sounds so “Christian cliché” but there really is not a better way of putting it. We have an idea of what we will be doing while in the country but no one can know what challenges we’ll meet or what relationships we may forge.
- What are you most nervous about?
I am most nervous about the same thing I wrote for number 4, but I associate nervousness with excitement. I would not say that I am worried about anything in particular besides my daily need for a cup of coffee. LOL! I still don’t know if they’ll have coffee at breakfast for us and if not I’m going to need to bring much more ibuprofen than a normal person would.
- What types of fundraising are you and your fellow missionaries doing?
In terms of financing this trip, it is already paid for in full for all five of our members who are going! This was accomplished through very generous donations given by our fellow church members and family members! My husband is a small town police officer and I have been a stay at home mom for 2 years. He also received a pay cut at the beginning of this year. Needless to say our finances are beyond tight! So tight that I’m not 100% sure yet where my meal money will come from on days that we’re at the airport all day, and the $10 entry fee to get into Haiti. However, God fully provided for this trip for me from the beginning, so I know he will keep on. You may ask yourself “what in the world is the broke lady doing going on a mission trip when she needs to be getting a job?” I have a job that doesn’t pay in dollars but will change the world in about 16 years. It’s a long term investment but I am patient. I have also been a beekeeper since 2010, a business that is mainly conducted only in the growing season. It is a slow-growing endeavor without loan money or benefactors. Since my daughter, Emma, is only 2 she would need day care, and a job for Momma would have to be able to pay all of day care and still provide enough income to make it worth the commute and time away from home. So when I felt the nudge in church the day they announced the trip to Haiti, I automatically thought, “…no way can I afford that!” However, my friend Jessica went to the meeting, brought me an intro packet, and informed me that if it is God’s will he will make a way as stated by the youth pastor of our church leading the trip. So I said “Okay why not? None of my own endeavors are exponential right now, so let’s see what God can do.” The trip was paid for and then some within 2 weeks!
- How can we help support your mission trip?
I would ask any one that was brave enough to read all of that to keep Haiti in prayer. Yes, our home of the brave has its own issues but many Americans just do not understand and/or do not care to know how great we have it here. If you are resigned to work hard and be of upright character you can accomplish provision for your family in America; a luxury not afforded to many people in impoverished countries. I request prayer for these places and if you’re a generous person donate to a tested organization working to empower the impoverished, or go volunteer! If you’ve ever been hungry for a time then you would have a glimpse of poverty and you would want to end it.
Thanks Casey! Fair winds and following seas, cuz! I can’t wait to hear about the trip when you get back!
From left: Me, Emma & Casey when they visited us in St. Pete last year!