Haiti: What Do Sandals Have to do with a Mission Trip?

“Now these are what I call sandals!”

What in the world do sandals have to do with this Haiti mission trip?  Brace yourself, because you’re going to learn a lot about the spirit of “Team Squirt” through these sandals.

Two days before leaving for Haiti, I received a call from my daughter, Steph.  “What size sandal does Jimmy wear?”  (Jimmy is her brother who also went on the trip.)  “Uh, I think size 12.  Why?”

“Well, Roni (Steph’s husband who also went on the trip) and I were talking last night, and we’re buying Jimmy some new sandals.” 

“Why? Jimmy has sandals.  You know that.”

“Mom, Jimmy is wearing the same pair of beat up Walmart sandals that he’s been wearing for the past ten years.  The soles are worn through, and you know that Jimmy will never buy anything for himself.  He gives to everybody else, but never spends a dime on himself!  Roni and I researched and we know just the pair we’re going to get him!  Honest, mom, these sandals are so comfortable, and they come with a guarantee.  They really will last Jimmy for the next ten years!”

Fast forward to the airport.  We thirteen team members arrived on different planes and met in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to board our final plane to Cap Haitien.  There was a secret about to unfold and only a few of us were in on the surprise!

Picture this:  Steph and Roni ran up to greet Jimmy in the airport (who was wearing his flippy-floppy worn out sandals)  almost tripping over their own feet while shoving  the box into Jimmy’s hands.

“What are you guys doing? How about a hug or something like that?” (They hadn’t seen each other since Christmas.)

“Open it, Jimmy!  It’s for you!  Hurry up!  Open it!”  (Honestly, this reminded me of Christmas back when the kids were little!)

Standing off to the side watching from a mother’s vantage point, you have no idea how much my heart was racing with excitement and overflowing with a sentimental joy.  Not often do I ever hear of adult brothers and sisters doing things like this for each other.  Roni and Steph took some of their hard-earned money that they had been saving and got Jimmy a “supreme pair of sandals” smothered in love.  They wanted the very best for Jimmy, and that’s what he got!  They sacrificed big time to see that their brother had decent sandals to trod the soil of Haiti while visiting the orphans, the homeless, and the sick.

In my opinion, the spirit of “Team Squirt” began long before we reached Haitian soil.  This spirit of sacrificially giving, of loving one another, and of sincerely caring for each other began months prior to this trip. I could recount story after story of the 13 team members making tremendous sacrifices to make sure everyone had enough money, supplies, and food to go on the trip.  What a team!!! 

“Just a pair of sandals”, you say.  Not hardly!  These sandals represent the sole mission of “Team Squirt” — to be the very hands, feet and heart of Jesus! 

Stay tuned for more of the “inside” stories of our trip to Haiti.  I promise that you won’t be disappointed!

PS  Guess where Jimmy’s old sandals went?  In the very first trash recepticle he found in the airport!  And, the new sandals?  A perfect fit, and I’m glad we all liked them because those will be attached to Jimmy for the next 15 years! 


One thought on “Haiti: What Do Sandals Have to do with a Mission Trip?

  1. I'm blown away by the generosity of Steph and Roni. They not only bought me the best pair of sandals I ever owned (totally undeserved), they also bought presents and shoes for several Haitians who had no shoes. They bought clothing for some as well out of their own money. They are the epitome of selflessness and Christ-likeness. Thanks for sharing this blog!

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