Today was a long but amazing day so far. It started at 4:00am as I drove down the North Dallas Tollway as fresh snow was covering the road. A beautiful, but unexpected surprise. I picked up Lars Rood and we took a flight to Miami where we met the rest of our team, and flew to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for the rest of the day and night. The day began in snow and ended on a sunny beach surrounded by blue water. Such a contrast.

It was a great day of bonding with the other team members, eating dinner and sharing each of our stories for a few hours. I’m now sitting in my room with my two roommates Tim Schroyer and Ian Robertson, writing this blog, and getting ready for a night of rest before we head out at 5:30am and head across the border into Haiti.

I’m not really sure what to suspect, and even though I have watched the news, and talked with others who have been to Haiti in the last few weeks — I know that I won’t be fully prepared for what lays ahead. Some of the stories that we have heard from others today during our travel time has reminded me that though we have a schedule, we need to also remain open to how God might use us along this journey. Tomorrow will definitely be a day of contrasts as we move from the Dominican Republic into Haiti.

I will be sharing a little bit of what I”ve learned each day — sharing some of my experiences, and hopefully what I share in the process will be encouraging to you.

My stomach has been filled with a lot of anxiety ever since I made the decision two weeks ago to come to Haiti. I’ve led dozens of trips to various parts of the world, but this trip is different, and with that newness, comes different feelings, different worries, and new anxieties.

I’m full of anticipation for how God might use us in the next week.

Im full of excitement for the team that I’m so humbled to be a part of.

And I’m trying to approach these next few days with hands wide open as our team leader Seth Barnes talked about over dinner tonight. When we have things in our hands, then they are not free to receive. So I know I come to Haiti with my hands full of lots of stuff. Some good, and others not so good. Sometimes they are full of worries, busy schedules, anger, exhaustion, dreams — and lots of other things. But I’m praying that as I travel this week that I will slowly let go of the things that I’m holding onto — the things that my fists are clenched around. And in so doing, I pray that my open hands will be able to receive far more than I had ever expected, and that they will also be free to serve those that I come into contact each day.