Note: H.E.L.P. founder Chris Marlow is leading a team on a pilgrimage trip to Haiti the week of November 2-9. Thomas E. Ward, one of the members of this mission team, will be sharing his experiences here on the H.E.L.P. Blog. 

So let me start this series of posts with a very honest admission: I think it’s going to be a real challenge for me to process my Haiti experience in real time. There’s just so much to absorb, and it comes at you so quickly, that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to make sense of all that you’re encountering along the way—let alone articulate it in a way that does nothing to diminish the dignity of those who live here. And maybe that’s just my very long, meandering way of saying that places like Haiti leave me speechless, tongue-tied, fumbling for words. I guess there are just moments when the brain (and the heart) can’t immediately comprehend or even begin to explain what the eyes have just been witness to.

What I can tell you is that traveling in the developing world—in places where extreme poverty is the norm—engages all the senses. There’s nothing banal about it. It hits you right in the face. And it moves you—deeply. Tonight, I am moved, and I am certain that what Haiti has to teach me is far more valuable and potentially life-changing than anything I could’ve learned if I had stayed at home.

Please pray for us as move through our days in Haiti. Pray that we’ll be a community of eager learners, humble listeners, and faithful friends. And pray that God uses this trip to shape us in unexpected ways.