'An empty stomach has no ears.'

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Written by: Larry Schlender, Bethel Baptist Church, Janesville, WI

My short-term mission experience lies with a ministry called Harvesting Hope. Harvesting Hope is an agriculture-based ministry dedicated to provide tractors, tools and training to the people of Pignon, Haiti. It enables Haitians to grow food for Haitians.

There is a Haitian phrase that says, "An empty stomach has no ears." With supplying agriculture assistance, the Christian schools and orphanages are able to provide the children with food to eat. The focus is taken off their grumbling bellies and centered on the Good News of Jesus Christ. The gospel is then taken home ot the children's family and friends at the end of the day. They become wonderful witnesses to the love the Father has for all people. It is so gratifying to know God is moving among these people and I am one of His tools.

Interacting with the people, despite the language difference, is priceless. After planting corn in late April 2012, Alonce (the gentleman I was training with the tractor) and I were in the Harvesting Hope garage cleaning up the tractor and planter for storage. Spontaneously, Alonce started to sing "Nothing But the Blood of Jesus" in Haitian Creole. I joined him by singing the first verse over again in English, and he sang the next verse in his native tongue. We alternated verse-for-verse on hymn and after hymn for almost two hours. Every so often someone would walk by and join in! Our languages are so different. Our lifestyles are different. But the knowledge, love and adoration of our Lord and Savior is exactly the same. I will carry that fact with me forever.

Look around and you will find many opportunities to serve on a short-term mission trip. There are no words to describe the satisfaction you feel from serving and the changes your heart will experience. You will not come back as the same person that left, I promise you!

    Point - Fall 2017

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