WHAT TO EXPECT ON A MISSION TRIP
Friar suppliers provides basic food and resources for the Community of Franciscans of Renewal’s convents and friaries in the New York area. This is done in means to allow sisters and friars to have more availability to take care of the poor, by having their basic needs taken care by Friar Suppliers, who join in their spirit of accepting God’s providence.
In 2001, as a response to Fr. Conrad and Fr. Benedict’s requests, the Friars Suppliers began supporting projects in Haiti. In 2003, the outreach became direct with the repairs of a school that was in ruins as well as providing for the nourishment of the students. Our group efforts led to an ongoing connection with the native Haitian Community of the Little Brothers of St Therese in 2009, that serves as a permanent base and connection to the local people. Each year the Friar Suppliers have expanded their projects through mission trips, which now include a growing number of lay people and CFR friars and sisters who serve week-long missions twice a year. We have impressively included other native Haitian workers (cooks, translators, security agents, and police officers) in the projects of the Friar Suppliers, giving Haitians the opportunity to earn wages and attain help with stable housing, and promoting their God-given dignity by helping them to help themselves and support their families.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN THIS TRIP?
In the Spirit of Mercy and Goodness of our almighty Father, we would like to thank you for the openness to serve Christ in the poor of Haiti. It is because of generous hearts like yours, that we are able to come together and provide for the spiritual and material needs of our Haitian brothers and sisters. These are some of the most important aspects you can be sure to expect while in this mission:
Love. The people of Haiti are unique. They show their gratitude in every possible way, and make sure to make you feel welcome. They acknowledge you and embrace you with much appreciation that you’ll know God’s love is real.
Poverty. Haiti is ranked one the 20 poorest countries in the world. You will see the precarious conditions most people live in, but also the harsh reality they face daily. Health, food, shelter, and even small things we take for granted are a luxury to them.
Work. This is a working mission. We all come together to do our part in making the world a more dignifying place for our Haitian brothers and sisters. During the mission we try to forget about our comfort for a few days and strive to endure and make great efforts to reach our goals during the mission, as well as giving our best to support the teams we work with.
Prayer. God is truly the center of this mission, the friars and sisters have daily Mass, Holy Hour, and night Rosary. These are open to anyone who would like to join in prayer… which makes a huge difference in the day.
Security. We stay at a gated complex with 24/7 security, rooms have locks and outside activities are always done under supervision, and in the company of local translators and Haitian crew members who always make you feel safe and cared for.
Food and Water. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided every day, and snacks are always available for consumption through the day. There is also plenty of bottled water.
Lodging. There are plenty of rooms at the complex where we stay. Electricity, bathrooms with running water, and other basic resources. We have nurses on site for any health related need that may arise during the mission. Keep in mind Haiti is a third-world country so most of our first-world preferences are off the table.
Humility. Come with a desire to serve and surrender yourself to Jesus (including your own pet peeves). It is essential to obey the rules and instructions given each day. Even if you consider something can be done better, keep in mind this mission has been taking place for more than 10 years, so there is always a reason why things are done in a particular way already… don’t get creative! Exercise the virtue of obedience!
Weather. The temperature in Haiti at this time of year is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. We recommend bringing light clothing for work and also for the day. Be ready to sweat a lot and be exposed to the sun. The terrain is rocky and dry, please bring boots or comfortable shoes that can resist this terrain while missioning.
Friar Suppliers operates from the Franciscan charism in which Father Groechel founded the Community of Friars of the Renewal. As a Catholic organization, we actively live out our faith in both word and deed. We are grateful to anyone who has a desire to come and serve in Haiti and ask that the following guidelines be considered, respected and observed while in mission:
Doctrine. We spread the word of God from the Catholic doctrine. We promote and defend the value of life from its conception, traditional family; we do not support contraception, or anything that contradicts our Christian morals and values.
Charity. The best charitable act we can perform while in Haiti is to treat everyone with dignity and protect this dignity as well. For this, we ask to avoid any direct giving of candy, money or anything that can create an uncontrolled mass response from the locals (unless it has been planned as part of a program). There are many concrete ways in which can help people in need without creating a chaotic situation that can also put our safety at risk. We recognize the fulfillment we can experience when giving something, but remember this is about them.
Commitment. Every missionary is assigned to a group according to their gifts and skills, we ask you to please be a team player and be supportive to the crew leader. The Haitians are not working FOR US, they are working WITH US and we must set the example of good work ethics. We also understand if there is a desire to change to a different group or assignment, and we will be happy to make the arrangements for you to have a fruitful experience of encountering God daily. But, we also ask missionaries to please commit, endure and grow, and not just “try out” what seems more comfortable on a daily basis.
Boundaries. Maintain personal boundaries with the locals and those we serve with. We try to set an example of life and simplicity, for this we ask not to engage in public drinking with any of the workers, or any other activity that does not fall into the mission focus we intend to maintain.
Child protection. As U.S. missionaries, we follow the same VIRTUS guidelines as the Archdioceses we belong to. Please be mindful of this when coming in contact with any minor.
Language. Please do not use foul language as well as any conversation that denotes sexual or degrading connotation. Keep in mind we are serving along with religious sisters and friars, but also as a way of respect to the sacred places around, and the entire community that seeks to have a clean environment.
Modesty. Although the weather is hot we ask you to please dress modestly, especially when attending the daily religious services, we will be receiving daily.
Safety. For security reasons the gates are kept closed at all times, no one will be allowed to go outside on their own or without a crew unless the outing has a missionary purpose (construction, house visit, etc), in which you must inform Charlie to make sure the outing is necessary and security ensured. We will also collect all passports at the beginning of the trip, and return them at the end; this is to keep them safe. Also, make sure to keep your valuable items with you and in safe places during the day…or avoid taking anything of high value with you.