Martha and I recently returned from the Philippines and wanted to share with you about our trip. As many of you know, Martha’s parents serve as faculty members at Baptist Theological College (BTC) in Cebu City. We had the opportunity to help lead a group of 16 Americans who came to work with and encourage students at BTC. We spent the week painting on campus, practicing English with the students, serving in local ministries, and worshiping together. This was a very rewarding experience for the team of Americans, the students, and us. Another big reason for the trip to the Philippines was to simply spend time with Martha’s folks! It was great to have some good family time in their home. We got to spend a few days together on beautiful Bantayan Island enjoying creation, playing games, and resting. We are thankful for old relationships rekindled and new friendships made during our three weeks in the Philippines. It was refreshing for Martha to be ‘home’ and for me to see for the first time where she grew up. We couldn’t help but wonder what similarities, if any, exist between the Philippines and our future home of Haiti. The tropical weather perhaps? We are eager to find out.
We came back to Seattle excited about what lies ahead for us with World Concern! Thank you for your notes and emails following our first prayer letter in January.
The past couple weeks, the Country Directors and other personnel from World Concern’s international offices have been here in Seattle. It was a great time of fellowship and collaboration for the organization’s leadership. We had the opportunity to meet with Christon Domond the Haiti Country Director and Pierre Uwimana the Deputy Country Director. It was a privilege to hear directly from them about the work going on in Haiti. We were also encouraged to hear from Christon and Pierre about how our roles will help the Haiti team impact more lives in the years ahead.
In our roles, we will have the opportunity to work closely with the local staff and beneficiaries. Specifically, I (Austin) will be assisting local staff in preparing project reports and grants. Additionally, I will help collect and write stories from the field. Martha naturally has a creative eye and will be using that to capture World Concern’s work in Haiti using photography and video. We all recognize the power of a story. Our work will produce powerful stories that will hopefully inspire people to act on behalf of the Haitian people.
Why are we going? We are going because we are passionate about the people and we want to contribute to the life changing work already happening in Haiti! This position fits our skills well and allows us to help the World Concern Haiti team meet their communication needs. Martha and I have long agreed that serving internationally and within the development field was something that we wanted. We feel humbled to have the opportunity to work alongside Haitian brothers and sisters and believe that hope and change can continue to be carried out there.
We feel 100% that the Lord has provided this opportunity for us at just the right time. He has undoubtedly been preparing us for a mission like this and we believe we have been carefully and intentionally led in this direction. The process with World Concern has been very smooth and affirming which is why we are confident that God is behind it.
Please pray for safety in travel for Christon and Pierre as they return to Haiti. Following the earthquake in 2010, the World Concern Haiti team grew from around 85 staff to close to 160. Therefore, the need for prayer is great! Pray that they will receive all the strength, wisdom, and courage they need to lead the Haiti team well.
Thank you for your prayers and support. There is no way we can, by ourselves, reach our goal of serving in Haiti for two years. Please consider how God may be leading you to contribute to our ministry in Haiti. We are eager to arrive in Haiti and join the team as they continue to transform lives. We are grateful for your partnership and financial support.
Martha and I are available to talk with you and would truly enjoy it! Feel free to contact us through email or phone. We hope to talk to you soon.
Austin and Martha Snowbarger
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