How many LiveBeyond mission weeks have you served on? Two medical mission weeks—I went last August for one week, and then I went back again in January 2016 for one week.
Share how you got involved with LiveBeyond. I heard about LiveBeyond through a few friends, and then I met Jacklyn Vanderpool at a bible study through our church in College Station. I did not know what to expect on my first trip, but it had to be one of the best weeks of my life.
What’s your favorite part of the mission week? I always love shadowing the incredible doctors on this trip. I learn a ton about medicine, the human body and life as a doctor from these incredible men and women. But more importantly, they have shed so much wisdom on me about their relationship with the Lord. They have taught me to how to serve the Lord first and have a Christian worldview in their intense and demanding profession. These doctors are an incredible inspiration to me and I am so thankful for their strong love for the Lord and His kingdom. I also love to be with the children in the Kè Pou Timoun and Johnny’s Kids programs. Those beautiful children will steal your heart. I believe that I see the face of Jesus when I am with Chinello, Pierre-Richard, Lancey, Nadia, Farnold, Stevenson, Jano…(I could go on and on). Their love and joy for the Lord is contagious. They make me want to love the Lord more.
Share one of your most memorable experiences or encounters in Haiti. The most memorable experience I had in Haiti was on my first trip last August. One night after dinner and a devotional prayer time, the clouds all around the gleaming, starlit Haitian sky began to roll in. Off in the distance there were flashing bolts of heat lightning along the horizon. The wind was swirling around the compound, and it felt like it was swirling around our prayer group. Jacklyn began to pray for the sins of the United States and Haiti with reference to Daniel’s prayer (Daniel 9). Everyone got on their knees and came in very close as gentle, misty rain sort of sprinkled across the patio. And BAM! Probably 50 yards away from me, I saw a blinding flash of lightning in sync with the loudest thundering roar I have ever heard in my entire life. I felt very, very, very small at the moment and instantly broke down. Proverbs 9:10 states that, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” In this moment, I can truly say that I experienced this verse in its entirety. And even though I was very shocked, scared, and fearful, I felt so safe in the arms of the God who is in control. I will never forget this moment in my life because it reminds me that I am not God and never will be. I must become less and less so that He can become greater and greater (John 3:30). I believe this is the LiveBeyond mission that I have fallen in love with. In order that God be expressed to Haiti, the U.S., the world, we as Christians must become less than God, others and our comfort just as Jesus Christ lived.
What keeps you coming back to Haiti with LiveBeyond? I go back to see the breakthroughs!!! It’s addicting to see hundreds of Haitians at the start of clinic each day denouncing voodoo. It’s so powerful to see the youth proclaiming God’s Truths over their lives. The atmosphere over Thomazeau is changing, and it’s all about the shifting in the spiritual realm, it’s calling in the Kingdom of God. It’s tangibly seeing Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” These dark powers are coming down as Jesus is becoming known as the King of Kings in Thomazeau.
Tell us how the people of Thomazeau have changed your life. The people of Thomazeau have shown me how Jesus Christ lived in reality. It is so easy for the American culture to blind us from the true person of Christ. Our comforts, status quos and deadlines can easily become our idols before Christ. Thomazeau will subtract all of those distractions from your life equation, leaving you to experience Christ in a radical way.
Brandon Dickey is sophomore Biology major Neuroscience minor at Texas A&M University from Austin, Texas. He plans to graduate in the Spring of 2018 and go to medical school.
Hear the latest news from Haiti, read posts about faith and community development, and find transcriptions from the LiveBeyond podcast.