{Lesson 4} The Power of a Team- Series: 7 Life Lessons I Learned in Haiti:

As a latch key kid, I wasn’t able to perform on team sports because my single mom couldn’t afford the cost or the time required to take time off of work to drive me to games.  No Girl-scouts either.  So I don’t have much experience with teams other than small groups in college.  I didn’t really have any expectations for our Haiti team either way.  I didn’t really know the value of a team.

Our team consisted of 11 very different men and women.  Our only commonality was that we go to the same church and the call we felt to go on to Haiti.  I learned many things from these amazing people who I did not know before this trip.

We all had our own reasons for being in Haiti.  But working together built a trust I hadn’t ever been a part of before.  We were all working toward a common goal.

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” ~Andrew Carnegie

And this made us strong. And courageous. And cohesive.

Each individual taught me something different and contributed to the team in a unique way.  I won’t mention all of the beautiful things I learned from each of them. But every one of them enhanced the experience of going to Haiti in big ways.

Through our struggles came strength.

Hearing their stories and testimonies was like building a tapestry of different colors.  Each added a beautiful piece.

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  • Mama Germ-X  had a story all her own.  Plagued with fears of OCD, her stating that traveling to Haiti was out of her comfort zone was an understatement.  Actually it was out of all of our comfort zones. But the fear she pushed through and the courage she demonstrated was truly amazing.  Her being honest about her fears demonstrated to me her courage in vulnerability.  If she can do Haiti, she can do anything, through Christ who gives her strength.
  • The Candy Man taught me the power of love in giving out candy.  I learned candy is a universal language.  He always had candy on hand for the children we met.  He forged relationships with kids on an adjacent rooftop during our devotions, encouraged a teen at a hospital to walk without his crutch (something the boy’s doctor was unable to get him to do), and brought delight to countless kids (of all ages) with his free gift.  It brought about a connection that would not have otherwise been formed.  The bonds he made were apparent and instant.

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  • There is a 50 year difference between the youngest team member and the oldest.  Our oldest team member, a retired pastor, worked harder than anyone.  He was up when we went to sleep and awake studying his Bible and praying when we awoke.  We joked how he must have never slept.  He always had our back in the airports and anywhere else where we traveled on foot.  I always felt safe with him walking behind all of us.  He taught me that you are never too old for anything.  And if anything, you get better with age.

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Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12

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  • One team member, a grandmother, lived in fear for decades after being raped and beaten as a teenager.  She shared her powerful testimony of how God redeemed her life and gave her the strength to overcome her fear and come to Haiti.
  • Our team leader taught me the value of good leadership, the bigger picture, camaraderie, leading, and trust.
  • Our Children’s Director showed me how to love on kids.  Something I thought I already knew.

We depended on each other. We trusted each other. And “as iron sharpens iron”, we became better than we would have been alone.

From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:16

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And their uniqueness made the trip even more amazing.

There is power in a team.

Think about what you can bring to a team, whether it is a team of homeschool moms, a church committee, or a family team. Have you ever encountered the power of a team?

To Read More in This Series: 7 Lessons I learned in Haiti…..

Lesson One: Being Transparent

Lesson Two: How To Pack For A Mission Trip

Lesson Three: You See More When You Stand Up


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