Monday, May 30, 2016

Ready for Launch!!

I have asked myself several times over the last few months what the heck I was thinking. Back in January, I said "yes" to the Global Outreach office at our church. Yes meant that I was willing to lead a short-term mission trip to Mission of Hope Haiti. At the time, I envisioned a father/daughter mission trip. I pictured 8-10 dads and their girls, ranging from elementary to high school ages. I imagined an awesome bonding opportunity for the girls as older girls spoke into the hearts of the younger, and dads commiserating and learning how to deal with the ages to come. Cute. Fast forward to March and I find out that rather than dads and daughters, I will be leading a team of teenagers. This is a whole new level of crazy!!  

Here we are, about a week and a half from our departure to Haiti. I've got a great team of kids and I am genuinely excited to have the chance to get to know each of them. I am certain that this is the right trip, with the right team. By now, we have completed all of our training sessions which has taught us how to speak with locals using translators, how to communicate our own faith story, how to handle the messiness of team dynamics and even a bit about Haitian culture. In mid-May, we had our commissioning, where we enjoyed a potluck dinner of Haitian food at my house.  I've included some photos below from our potluck!

I would love to say that it has been easy.  I'd love to say that I have given this opportunity all of the attention that it deserves. I'd love to say that I have felt fully in command of the tasks that have come about with this trip. None of these statements are true. Just like everything in life, it has taken some blind faith, some willingness to let go, accepting help from others and a whole lot of grace in order to bring me and our team to the point where we are ready to board a plane next week to go to Haiti.

Speaking of planes... good grief! You know that I really love my job and love what I do. A big part of what I love about my job is getting on the road with the sales team and meeting our clients and prospects, and visiting cities all over the country. Truly, I love that! Having said that, I have had a ton of work travel leading up to this trip which has kept me on the scramble. It leaves me feeling like I have too much on my plate back at the office, wondering whether I have given my family enough time and made it really hard to get all the errands run so that we can prepare for our trip.  

At the end of the day, I know this... I know that we have prepared mentally, spiritually and physically for our trip. I know that so far, 2016 has been a year of challenges and that we have faced them confidently as a family. I know that my beautiful bride takes my wild hairs in stride (secretly, she may even kind of like it). I know that our team is excited about our trip and that Mission of Hope will be able to put us to work in great ways that will propel their vision for the village of Simonette.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Grace and Sean Heading to Haiti!

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” 
This verse from 1 Corinthians 11:1 seems simple enough. It’s a calling that says that each of us are capable of leading another, as long as our focus is the example that Christ set. I can think of no clearer calling for a parent than to set an example for their children in the way that we want them to grow.  
Grace and I have accepted a unique opportunity to lead a team of students on a short-term mission trip, under the guidance of Hill Country Bible Church. For our journey, we will partner with Mission of Hope Haiti and focus on the village of Simonette, north of the capital city, Port Au Prince. To learn more about Mission of Hope Haiti, please check their website: www.mohhaiti.org.
For me, this will be my second short-term mission trip with Mission of Hope Haiti, and an extension of my service with this incredible organization over the last four years. For Grace, this will be a journey of “firsts”. This will be her first mission trip, her first time to travel internationally, and her first airplane ride (that she is old enough to remember).  
While in Haiti, we will lead our team of students in service projects throughout the village of Simonette, such as construction, painting, and planting gardens. Along the way, we will have the opportunity to expand the kingdom by sharing the gospel with villagers by distributing information about safe water and food preparation.  We will record demographic information about the homes we visit and encourage local believers, connecting them with the services of Mission of Hope Haiti. Beyond the opportunity to serve Haitians, our team will have the opportunity to serve the staff of Mission of Hope Haiti and connect our team with what we hope will be life-long relationships to those serving in long-term and permanent roles in the mission field.  
As you can imagine, this will be an eye-opening and amazing trip that will stretch the faith of many members of our team. We will encourage the growth of spiritual gifts and talents and hopefully return home with a broader sense of the world, a deeper relationship with God and each other, and a desire to see lives change in our homes and around the globe.  
I am inviting you to partner with us in order to make this short-term mission trip successful. We need prayer partners who are willing to commit to pray for our team, not only while we travel to Haiti, but NOW, as we prepare for our journey. Each of us will need your prayers as we learn to work together, to trust one another, to enable each to use their talents, and for lasting relationships to develop. We need your prayer as we work to fit necessary training sessions into our already busy lives and schedules that are filled with work or school, extra-curricular activities, family and church responsibilities. We need your prayer for the field that we will enter into; please pray for the village of Simonette, that our path would include fruitful conversations and opportunities to serve. And we need your prayer that our team will return from Haiti safely, with hearts filled with compassion and joy that our team can pour out on our families and friends.  
Clearly, a trip like this will also need partners who can support us financially. We recognize that it isn’t feasible for everyone to take a week out of their lives to go on a short-term mission trip. Will you consider a gift to send us? In exchange, I will provide regular updates on our planning and training, updates on our journey to Haiti and a summary of our trip with pictures and testimonies of the life-change that you enabled.  
Each of our team members is required to raise $2000 in funding for this short-term mission trip. As a team, we must raise almost $40,000! For Grace and I, that means that we need to raise $4000. Every donation becomes significant with a goal this high. Would you be able to send a gift that helps us reach our goal? A gift of $50, $100 or more would be an amazing offering that will sow seeds deep in the field for life-change in our team and the Haitians we will serve. A gift of any amount will help ensure we reach our goal.
Our trip to Haiti is scheduled for June 8th through the 15th. If you will partner with us in prayer or financial support, please use the response card that I have attached. This response card, if filled out completely, will ensure that your gift will find it’s way to the correct place. Please note that the response card includes a way that you can give online or by check mailed to our church office. To give online, you can use this web link:https://hcbc.webconnex.com/go. If giving online, make sure you select GO Haiti 1 as the mission trip to support and enter Cornish Family as the participant you would like to support. Please feel free to call me at512-589-5322 or email me at SeanPCornish@GMail.com if you have questions. I’d love to hear from you!
Please do not put off this important opportunity.
Sincerely yours,

Sean and Grace Cornish