Haiti Recap

After a crazy eight days in Haiti, I’m finally back in the United States. I wanted to write this post to let you know how the trip went and the takeaways I learned along the way. But first, I can’t thank you all enough for your support both in prayers and financial donations. I know for a fact this trip couldn’t have happened without you, so once again thank you! I could go on forever about all of the things I saw and experienced over the trip, but I want to share a few moments that left a huge impact on me.

The first lesson I’ve learned from this trip was how relational God is and how much he desires to be relational with us. This was displayed in the openness and welcoming nature of the Haitian community we interacted with on a daily basis. They liked the basketball sessions, but it was easy to see their best moments came from the relationships they were able to form with our team. You may ask, how does this show we serve a relational God? The great commission: “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”” Matthew 28:18-20. Disciples come out of relationship. And while we oftentimes weren’t explicit in our sharing of the gospel, we established relationships that going forward can produce an open environment for the gospel to be shared. I think the deepest connections to God come from authentic relationship where God reveals his character and nature. I saw that throughout the entire week as a group of strangers traveled together to proclaim the good news. In no other group have I seen such radical cohesiveness and unity around our purpose, I can only attribute that to God.

If you know me you can attest to my tendency to overthink and over-plan. In the last few years I’ve learned to be more flexible, but it still doesn’t come easy to me. This trip forced me to go with the flow and roll with the punches. Prior to arriving in Haiti, I prepared the entire clinic plan for the week of basketball training for the coaches. However, when I saw them play on Sunday, I realized we would have to stress the fundamentals of the game. At first I was flustered and frustrated at the thought of not having a working schedule, but by God’s grace he filled us coaches with the wisdom to provide the right knowledge to the Haitian coaches which led to incredible youth clinics in the afternoons.

After illness, heat exhaustion and not being on the schedule I planned for the trip I started to become cynical. I started thinking, if I can’t fix this problem before I leave why continue on? I still had this mentality on the plane until I watched a scene from Schindler’s List: Schindler’s List Scene. This scene reminded me that what we did as a group was excite a group of basketball coaches to impact their community in a positive manner. While I couldn’t immediately catch them up to advanced techniques, we left them hungry to improve their skills and coach the youth in their communities. That is all I could ask for, and who knows what happens 5-10 years down the road with the seeds we were fortunate enough to plant.

Going to Haiti reminded how fortunate I am to live in the United States. I know I take for granted the blessing I have in my life and I was reminded that what is commonplace here in the U.S. is not commonplace in most of the world. There was such beauty as we drove through Haiti even among the poverty. The unbelievable beaches, the rolling mountains and the islands just off the coast are just a few things that captured my attention. The joy of the children, the hospitality and warmth of the people was inspiring. I never once felt like they were cynical about our presence

 

and by the end of the week they considered us family. That was a special feeling to be accepted in such an authentic manner.

Once again, THANK YOU! This trip was a reality because of you and I’m extremely grateful I was able to experience a different culture and country while teaching about the sport I love and the incredible God I serve. I can tell you this, I will visit Haiti again someday. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post.

Sincerely,

Jacob Biviano

 

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