I spent last weekend leading a trip to Haiti for one of my favorite nonprofit organizations, The Global Orphan Project.
What I witnessed there this trip was freakishly amazing, I mean that.
Let me set the stage a bit for you. We were taking a group of “struggling” teens from a therapeutic boarding school to Haiti. We had over 20 kids ranging from 15-18 years old along with some staff to help them while we were there. These kids aren’t your run of the mill kids. They’ve experienced brokeness in some profound ways. On this trip for instance we had more than one rape victim, some addicted to drugs, two young men had lost their dads, one of which to suicide.
They look just like the kids going to your kids school, but they are broken. Shelterwood is putting them back together with care and Christ. So why take them to Haiti you ask? I did too. Seems pretty risky. I mean you are taking kids who sometimes struggle to function in a regular school because of their behavior and you are going to send them to Haiti?!! Why?
Because when broken kids meet kids who were once more broken but redeemed by Jesus, magic happens.
We can all debate a bit of what it means to be broken and how that effects our world view but the fact is in some way or at some point we are experience brokenness.
The CEO of this school is doing nothing less than risking it all for the sake of the souls of the children in his care. Think about it, what do you think would happen if something happened to one of these kids on a trip? Lawsuits galore, press onslaught. You bet, all calling for an end to this lunacy. But instead, he leans in. In his words, “our trips to Haiti are one of the best therapeutic tools we have in our bag because they encounter Jesus”.
That’s the collision. Jesus shows up in the middle of that meeting. The orphaned children we interact with on the trip are cared for by the local church, that’s how GO Project works. It’s transforming lives through orphan care and prevention. Transformed lives on both sides of this equation.
When we left Kansas City one of the kids had asked the CEO to baptize her off the coast of Haiti; however by the time we made it to the beach 13 kids were ready to do the same. Thirteen who left KC broken, were healed and baptized. Freakishly amazing. It’s hard to tell when the shift happened, it was like a swell of positivity. It was amazing to just be there, watching it.
I really didn’t just spend last weekend in Haiti, I spent it seeing a small glimpse of what the power of Jesus can do. I was a bystander to real leadership and all the others who serve. I was in the stands cheering as Jesus showed up in the lives of these kids.
We all experience brokenness to some degree or another, we are all in need of colliding with Jesus to truly heal. Sometimes that means encountering him in strange places, like Haiti to do so.
When broken worlds collide, magic happens. I can only hope to be a part of that more often.