I knew very little about New Missions before I traveled here. Two men I work with and respect, Tim DeTellis and Dave Nowak, lead the organization. That was enough for me. After hearing them talk about it over the past couple years, I wanted take a week and see for myself.
After a few days, I have fallen in love with this place.
Established in 1983 with only a couple of tents and hearts for the Haitian people, New Missions has now grown to include a mission base with multiple buildings, 22 schools, a highschool, a medical clinic and several churches. Over 8,000 children are sponsored through New Missions, enabling them to receive an education and basic provisions. This is HUGE, being that 50% of all Haitian children never go to school. The children who are enrolled in school receive free basic medical care at the clinic, which again is no small benefit given the prevalence of disease and the average income of a dollar a day. Christianity is quickly replacing Voodoo in the Leogane Plain, largely due to God’s work through New Missions over the past 26 years.
I’m deeply inspired by people who catch a vision and then tenaciously tackle obstacles to make that vision a reality. Especially those are steadfast over time, pressing on in spite of resistance. That requires some serious faith and determination.
New Missions and Charlie DeTellis, the local missionary, have inspired me. I’m not sure I’d have the same fortitude to daily face the mountain of ministry here in Haiti. But they’ve done in, and I’ve seen firsthand it’s making an enormous impact.
Which makes me think this:
How many times have I caught a vision of something, but bailed when the big results didn’t materialize fast enough? Making an impact is often more about taking repeated small steps in the same direction over time rather than big jumps in the short-term, which can fizzle before the momentum even gets going. If only we’d all have the long-term vision and tenacity to stick to our convictions!
For more information about New Missions or to sponsor one of the beautiful children I’ve met this week, check out their website. Or, better yet, carve out a week and come see for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.