Randall P Garretson
Originally, this was going to be a social media post exclusively. Though it will still wind up there I decided to post it to my blog due to length and the number of people who receive the communication form here. There is just so much that I would like to say and share on the topic, I found it difficult to contain my words in written expression.
I can say with certainty by observation and through personal experience that mission trips are life changing. The transforming element that occurs when you sacrifice self for others does something very profound to your way of thinking and living. Whether helping in your own city or travelling to a distant foreign land, “all” mission trips are critically important for society and community, both globally and locally. We understand that some go on a mission trip to build or rebuild things like homes, schools, water pumps, water wells or other important structures. Some go on mission trips solely for evangelistic purposes or introduce them to a good God. Some go on mission trips to restore things that were damaged in a disaster or to bring relief of some kind to the people in an affected region. Each form of mission described and many not mentioned are needed and are totally necessary.
We, Haven of Hope, and the team of selfless people we bring with us on our mission trips each year do all the above. We build relationships, defend the oppressed and neglected, restore hope, and provide relief from the traumatic impact of their circumstances. All facilitated and accomplished through an action define in one word called Love! The same love God gives each of us as humans, as his children. We simply go and do our best to reflect, display, and give that same kind of love to others hurting so badly. It is during the process of sharing that love that we have seen results of; complete emotional restoration in an instant, freedom from demonic presences that torments them, and the sick being healed before our eyes with that love. It is truly incredible and mind blowing to see the byproduct of miracles that take place in that kind of atmosphere, but the real tangible result is watching the rebuilding and rebirthing of communities that occur because of what we do, or at least in part. Change is happening nonetheless!
It’s been three long years since we, Haven of Hope, has returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo, East Africa. The Covid pandemic and extreme travel restrictions limited our ability to continue the work we started there seven years ago. Sure, we’ve sent relief money for food, medicine and assist in other ways financially from afar, but money is only a tool, a band aid to the deeper issues of emotional rejection, physical trauma and essence of real love being freely given. The proof is in the pudding, as they say, when we hear words like “you came back, you do love us, you’re not a liar.” The incredible news we have for you is, this year many hurdles and obstacles have been reduced enough that we will be traveling once again to display this critical component of hope called “Love”. We are bringing with us, an amazing team of people who are willing to push through the remaining challenges and difficulties of travel to accomplish the “Mission” described above. Pictured below is part of the team with one person missing, who is going for sure and two more potentially going that are sacrificing; comfort, luxuries, money, time, health, vacation and even safety to a degree to go and do what all our hearts are screaming to do out of passion and compassion for others. We are giving hope that all is not lost, reassurance that they are valued, accepted, and have purpose and give an ear to their stories that are bottled up as poison inside of them due terror and brutality that they cannot share with just anyone. We understand that may not sound excited to you, it may not interest you or be something you'd ever do. That is the reality of this type of work, it’s not for everyone but it’s a piece of who we are and there is a calling deep inside of us that must be fulfilled, carried out.
My request to you, my purpose for sharing is, we need your help. The team going is faced with significant increase in costs for airfare, lodging and food and if going is not your thing, you have the ability to send. You can still be a part of a massive transformation and have a global impact to a region and others in such desperate need. With your finances, regardless of how big or little you may think it is, you would be providing a way and giving financial freedom for those who can and want to go to share their gifts and talents. I will say this, those who have committed to going, will be going one way or another as we, Haven of Hope will make sure that they can. The work of love and restoration shouldn’t be hindered simply because of a momentary lack in a particular resource. This is not to guilt or pressure anyone into giving, but in some instances, if we don’t do our part in presenting the need or opportunity to help in this manner, many will not know of the need that exists for the work to be accomplished. Mission and ministry require money and if no one could ever afford to go, the world would collapse around us, and we would be fooling ourselves to think that the devastation that follows from that collapse would never reach our homes even as far as the USA 9,000 miles away.
Please consider giving the gift of “going” for this 2022 Democratic Republic of Congo mission trip. I can say with confidence, you WILL change lives and you will be blessed.
Thank you for reading, thank you for your prayers and please share. For more information and donation visit haven-ofhope.org today!
With much love, the Haven of Hope Mission team 2022
Randall, Rachelle, Heidi, Bobbi, Jessie, Sadie, Rachel, and Bjorn