What began as Cowboys in Haiti, in 2010, a trip in honor of Ruben Narcisse, who was tragically killed in a car accident in the fall of 2010, has evolved into an annual FCA mission trip. The recent group who returned from Haiti in May, 2015 marked the fourth trip to Port Au' Prince for a team from UW since Ruben's death. Ruben had a heart for the youth of Haiti, where his family has been involved in extensive ministry, including helping plant and pastor several churches. For the past three years the UW team has partnered with Lyonel Narcisse (Ruben's father) and his church in Haiti to provide football clinics for the youth of the area.
This year the team continued to connect with and even stay at the Love a Child Ministry, which ministers to some of Haiti's most vulnerable youth through an orphanage, as well as other outreach opportunities such as a soccer league ministry. The team from Wyoming helped build a malnutrition center this year. The group heard stories of women walking for 5 hours to the Love a Child Center to help care for their sick children. This new center will help the ministry better serve the community and the most vulnerable children in the area. What an honor to be a part of such a vital outreach to the Haitian people.
While sharing the gospel is always in the forefront and central in the focus on any FCA mission trip, the team from UW was primarily there to support the ministries which are already effectively sharing the gospel and living it out amongst the Haitian people on a long term basis. The most effective evangelism and discipleship is taking place within Lyonel's church and the Love a Child Ministry, so this was an opportunity to assist those able ministers and help prepare them for the work they will continue to do long after the group from Wyoming returns home. Packaging medical supplies for medical mission outreaches into rural areas and dividing thousands of pounds of beans into smaller quantities to feed children in various locations were all a part of serving the kingdom behind the scenes and helping to assist the laborers who will continue to be God's hands and feet in Haiti.
Building upon relationships which have been developed over the last few years, the cross-cultural team work which occurred on the trip is truly a picture of the family of God, extending across geographical boundaries and cultural differences. It is amazing how God has used something so tragic, such as the death of Ruben, to bring about such a beautiful partnership between people from Wyoming and Haiti, displaying that "weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning" Psalm 30:5.