Below is a post of our first two days. There are more pictures on yesterday’s post and attached to this post are two videos…enjoy!
Our day of travel was indeed a long one! The team piled into Dulles Airport around 4am half-asleep, but one hundred percent eager to begin our adventure ahead of us. We praise God for a day of nothing but safe travels and blessings. Not a single piece of luggage was lost as we flew from Dulles to Miami and then to Trinidad.
How incredible is it that we serve a God who not only got us where we needed to go, but He got us their quickly, safely, and with everything we could hope to bring. I must say it has been neat to see God’s fingerprints so clearly marked over every individual that makes this team a team. It is so obvious to us all that God chose this team (every member included) for His great purpose and we have been able to accurately rejoice in that as we have begun to work alongside each other and get to know each other. Every plane ride was taken as an opportunity to get to know each other on a deeper level as well as sharing with other passengers about our mission ahead and our great desire to see God work in us.
We landed in Trinidad around 1:30pm and were soon greeted by a joyful and welcoming Ronnie Heerah. We spent the remainder of the evening moving in to our living spaces for the next two weeks. While the guys brought their things to Hope Community Church (an excellent name for a church, by the way) the girls moved into the home of the gracious and hospitable Heerah’s. (The family includes two boys and a girl under 14.)
The team then joined up for a get-together at Hope Community Church to meet some of the people we will be walking alongside this trip as well as eat some fantastic Trini food for dinner. It has been an honor spending time with everyone we have met thus far. Hope Community Church is not flashy or edgy, but its members are filled with more love, life, and joy than I can even describe to you accurately with mere words. Their love has overwhelmed the hearts of this team and not a single member left the church last night without excitement in their souls.
One incident in particular reminded us of God’s provision: After the Maxi Taxi (our daily transportation in a bus/van) dropped everyone off at their locations, we realized that there was some key items left behind in the vehicle. In the process of retrieving it, we got to meet the closest neighbor to the church and show an interest in her family’s lives (her daughter is miraculous alive after having spinal bifida for years. The doctors say she should have died when she was 5… she is now 14!) The family is not connected to the church but we are hoping this interaction, along with others will show her God’s love and the love of the church she lives next to.
The team started its day off today heading back to Hope Community Church for a bit of “Trini Culture Training.” As a group we listened to a well-put together presentation by about the history and culture of Trinidad so that we may be able to reach out to the community in a relevant way. Ronnie spoke to us briefly about the missions statement of the church and spoke profound truth into the meaning of God’s hope, leaving us encouraged and excited about beginning God’s good work here. We went over, in detail, our plan for the next two weeks so as to be prepared for everything that is coming our way. We are learning to be flexible and roll with the punches, because the Trinidad culture is not a rushed or planned one in the way ours is in the states.
Our new favorite phrase is “Trini Time.” For example “you can have a five minute break…Trini Time,” which meant that fifteen minutes later our break ended. After discussing our game plan, the team set up the church for a discipleship time and regular church service that happen Sunday evenings. We ate lunch together as a body of Christ and continued to use our time wisely by practicing skits, worship songs, and taking the time to encourage and exhort one another whenever there is down time. Finally we ended our time at the church today by having a quiet time together as a team and fellowshipping in all that God shared with us. After a nice refreshing couple hours back in our respective “homes” we arrived at the church for the services. We did one of our skits and sang a couple of our songs. Allison shared her testimony and Bob gave a message. Eight of us had chances to help with childcare. The guys also got to build friendships with some younger guys that have been checking out the church. We had a great dinner and fellowship “liming” with the Trinis from HCC.
Another area we hope to see God working is in our driver’s dad’s life. His dad once said he would never step foot inside a church. God has definitely been softening his heart. He is going to take on the transportation of us with his son and has been in the church since we got here! Pray that he continues to be receptive to God’s work.
(by Hope and Ashley)