At a small coastal village in Haiti recently, seven Movement team members did what they could to help with great needs — housing, clean water, access to medicine and a goat wedding. Yup.
During their week in Laboudrie — so small it doesn’t even come up in a Google search — the team planted trees, painted a house, installed a water filtration systems and handed out solar lanterns. In addition, they prayed with villagers and held a wedding ceremony for a pair of donated goats.
May goats Joey Fatone and Ginger Spice have a life filled with happiness.
The Movement Foundation sponsors mission trips all over the world. They are open to all Movement employees.
“I fell in love with this place, I fell in love with the work,” says Kirstyn Rigdon, who was on her first mission trip. “There’s something about getting up in the morning and giving everything you have physically all day long, and pray over people, and do hard labor, and pray over people some more. It such a refresher, and it turns your world upside down in the best way.”
Working well with others
Movement partnered with Mission of Hope Haiti for this trip. The organization chooses Village Champions, who identify the needs in each village around the small island nation. These Haitian men and women get to know the families in the village and prioritize the requests.
Teams from Movement and other organizations support these projects, but all food, supplies and other gifts are given directly from Haitian to Haitian.
“The very cool thing about anything Mission of Hope does is that they empower Haitians to do for themselves and to create sustainable ways to help themselves,” says Rigdon, who works in Human Resources at the National Sales Support Center. “It’s not just people coming in to save the day. It’s training people to do for themselves.”
Healing in Haiti: Juline and Jeff-nice
Nickson and Marcaisse, the Village Champions in Laboudrie, guided the Movement team to the families most in need. Besides meeting physical needs, the team also visited with and prayed for villagers.
They met 15-year-old Juline, who was paralyzed from the waist down in an accident five years ago. The team visited Juline and prayed for healing. At the end of the day, the team felt God calling them back to Juline’s house and they returned later in the week.
Sometimes we think God’s not big enough to hear what we need him to hear or to do what we need him to do. But He is so much bigger.” – Jenni Wirt
After praying again, Barry Turner reached out his hand and said, “Come on. Let’s do this.” With their help, Juline stood, and was able to hold up her own weight for the first time since the accident.
Though she only stood a few times for a few seconds at a time, the team believes this is the first step to her rehabilitation, and it taught them a lot about trusting God.
“A lot of times when we pray for things, we don’t really give God the opportunity to provide,” says Drew Jordan, another team member. “We prayed for God to help her walk, but then we just left.”
“Sometimes we think God’s not big enough to hear what we need him to hear or to do what we need him to do. But He is so much bigger,” she says.
Jeff-nice also lives in the village. She was badly burned in a house fire in August of last year. Her family lives in a tent near the road into the village, but transportation to the clinic is still difficult. Additionally, the medications she is prescribed must be taken with food, which is scarce for her family. After meeting her family, the Movement team pooled the remainder of their ministry fund and sponsored her medical care.
“We were able to do the sponsorship for the first two months, which means that instead of (her family) having to get Jeff-nice to the clinic, the clinic will come to her,” says Wirt. “And Mission of Hope will continue to check on her, make sure they have food, and make sure they have the medical supplies they need.”
Community starts here
Team members returned from Haiti feeling like their team was one of community.
“I think this group was handpicked (by the Lord) to go. With all our different personalities, the way we bonded, carried over to what we did there,” says Turner, a FHA underwriter for Movement.
Market Support Partner Jenn Eastman agrees.
“I want to encourage you guys to consider doing this, because the fact that we get to do this with coworkers that we still see every day and keep on sharing this experience with people is such a blessing and such a cool opportunity that you would never get anywhere else,” Eastman says.