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Pastor's Blog: Short-Term Mission Trips 8-28-12

posted Oct 2, 2012, 12:21 PM by Matt Schmitz

First Baptist Harlan has a history of meaningful involvement in cross-cultural and overseas missions.


Recently, I re-read the history of the church (prepared in 2010 for prospective new pastors) and here’s what I found:


            1972                Pastor Kemper preaches in Haiti

            1986                FBC pledges $30,000 to overseas missions

            2000                Mission trip to Dominican Republic

            2001                Mission trip to Chile

            2002                Youth mission trip to Crow Indian Reservation in Montana

            2006                Pastor Lamberts to Latvia; mission trip to Mississippi

            2007                Mission trips to Latvia & Mississippi

            2008                Mission trip to Mexico


To this list, I would add the fact that a number of our young people have served Christ overseas in recent years. For example, just yesterday, Nick Freml departed for China and a significant portion of his financial support came from us.


In terms of group trips, it appears we’ve been on the sidelines for a few years, but that’s not unusual when a church undergoes a change in pastoral leadership.


One thing I bring with me to Harlan is a connection to Haiti, which interestingly, according to the above list, was First Baptist Harlan’s first foray overseas back in 1972.


My previous church in Wichita has had a 20-year relationship with the First Baptist Church of Cap-Haitien, Haiti. This is a church of several thousand members located in Haiti’s second largest city. (If I’m not mistaken, it is the largest Protestant church in all of Haiti.)


In Wichita, we averaged at least one trip each year, comprised of various sized groups, ranging from 2-3 persons to a dozen or more.


On September 8 & 9, the gentleman who’s led all these trips to Haiti will be here in Harlan. He’s leading another trip in January and he’s invited us to go along. I hope you’ll attend one of the informational meetings to find out more about Haiti and how God is working there.


Let me say at the outset that it’s not my intention to “force Haiti” on us. Were God to lead us elsewhere, I would embrace that 100% (God sets the agenda after all). My only purpose in inviting the folks from Wichita is to present the opportunity and we’ll see what God does with it.


With appreciation,


Pastor Dan