We just returned from a 1 week trip to the nation of Haiti a few days ago.  processing my thoughts and feelings about the trip has been more difficult than I expected.  We went with a group of 16 people, all hoping to make a change and show God's love and encouragement to a nation ravaged by earthquake, disease, hunger and long term poverty.  The needs were so great.  Clean water, dry shelter, food, peace and order, leadership from government.  I've been a few places in my life where basic human need were lacking.  Places like Tijuana, Mexico and Nairobi, Kenya.  I was not prepared for the total poverty of this island nation.  Simple things that we enjoy like trash, sanitation, water and roads void of potholes are just a dream for much of Haiti.  And in the midst of this tragic situation, God was working.  Out of the rubble, lives are being rebuilt.  I had heard that the Haitians were a strong and resilient group of people.  Seeing them and meeting many for myself brings me to the conclusion that Haitians are the strongest and most resilient people I have ever known.  The spiritual strongholds of voodoo and withcraft are well known in Haiti.  There is a spirit of fear that affects many people.  But since the earthquake, several Haitians I talked to said that the power of voodoo is diminishing and that more people are turning towards a loving, benevolent God.  I went to Haiti because God's love compelled me to go.  I thought I might be a part of rebuilding what was destroyed.  I'm walking away from this trip with the feeling that no amount of money or man's effort can rebuild Haiti.  It's too far gone.  Only God himself can bring about this kind of change.  The good news is that is exactly what He wants to do.  It is God's plan to bring beauty out of ashes and exchange mourning for joy.  There is hope for Haiti, but it will take more than the NATO forces can provide.  Even if the USA sends the 1.1 billion it has promised to aid this country, it will still take a gracious work of a redeeming God to transform lives and breathe hope into this people.  Let's pray for Haiti.  Let's send teams to encourage what God is doing among His people.  Let's sponsor projects that work to rebuild and restore our neighbors in the Carribean.  hen it's all said and done, lets give God the glory for what He did!
Lisa Matthews
11/22/2010 10:26:03 am

Dear Pastor Sean,

Thank you for sharing your heart about Haiti. It truly reminds me of have blessed we are as a Nation! Your message yesterday at church was right on! We complain so much about what we don't have and forget about what we do have and how blessed we really are! We really don't know what is like to be "in need" like the people in Haiti, and we often complain about non sense things that shouldn't even matter!

I will continue to pray for Haiti and that they will continue turning to God!

Have a very blessed Thanksgiving Pastor Sean!!

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    Sean Appleton
    Senior Pastor

    Kay and I came to the Antelope Valley in 1989 after graduating from LIFE Pacific College to become assistants to Dan and Connie Stewart.  In 1997 we assumed the role of Senior Pastors at the church.  We have 2 boys, Aaron (married to Jennae) and Brandon.  My hobbies are gardening with Kay, bike riding with Kay, crosswords with Kay, and playing with old cars (where's Kay?)


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