Lipscomb senior distance runner Alexander McMeen along with a number of teammates are on a mission trip to Haiti. The following is an update from McMeen on the trip.
It is 6 a.m. and after months of planning, the day finally arrived for our journey to Haiti. The three rental cars were packed and ready for the 12 of us to make the 15-hour haul to Miami. Little did we know that just hours before we added a 13th member to the group. As we gathered yesterday morning to pray, we were told of the news that teammate Matt Deery had passed away the night before. Silence filled the air. It was as if someone simultaneously punched us all in the stomach. It couldn’t be true. Matt was a warrior, a super human athlete, who was seemingly invincible. He was our friend, teammate, and brother. He was the teammate that any team would be lucky to have, hardworking, humble and incredibly encouraging. Matt busted it 24/7. As we stood in shock, we knew we had to press on, for Matt wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. After we managed to get ourselves into the cars, it was as if we were instantly in Miami. We headed to the hotel room for a much needed recharge after our whirlwind of a day.
Friday morning we loaded our bags onto our shuttle and headed to the airport. Although the wound was still fresh, we were all eager to leave Miami and arrive in Cap Haitien. After weighing our bags, and ourselves (not kidding), we were able to board our matchbox plane. After landing, we had a short ride to the Cap Haitien Children’s Home where we are staying for the week. It didn’t take five minutes for each one of us to have a small child wrapped around our legs or gripping our hands tightly. After playing soccer, basketball, tag, and other games, it is easy to see that we will have plenty of chances to love on some kids this week.
As we sat there and watched “High School Musical 2” (they have a movie night here at CHCH every Friday night, it brought me back to a conversation I had on our flight with teammate Julie Shrewsbury. We talked about our family, friends, and our reason for coming on this mission trip; our overwhelming love for kids. She mentioned how much she loves her niece, and I said the same about my nephew. How we can’t imagine that one day, when we each have kids of our own, we will love them even more than that. Yet we both mentioned how crazy it is that God loves us infinitely more than that. Our brains often fail to comprehend that love.
After spending a few short hours here, God is already showing us how crazy we are for that way of thinking. People often mention how great it is that we are coming to love on these kids, but we should be saying how great it is that we feel Christ’s love THROUGH these kids. The love they show us gives us all chills. The mutual feeling that I love you and you love me, which only comes from someone so much greater than us. We’re blessed to come here and see that crazy love God shows us, and it has only been 12 hours. Now that it is midnight, we are off to bed, for our 6 a.m. morning run is soon approaching. Remember not to take each day lightly, for we aren’t guaranteed anything. Thanks for your constant prayers and support. The 13 of us sure do feel it.
Until next time,