I woke up at 6:30am on the morning of Friday, September 23 to a whirlwind of emotions; I felt anxious, excited, apprehensive, and nervous all at the same time.
After finalizing my preparations, I set out to the airport in Atlanta, where I met David Copeland of Revival Now and Jerry Noblitt, joining the team that I would be traveling with. We began our journey as I was still attempting to sort out the thoughts in my mind. I had no idea what to expect or what I had gotten myself into, but I knew that I wanted to expose myself to something different. We arrived in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, at 10:30pm and we were met by Pastor Robert Sookrmany, who was our main contact in Trinidad for this venture.
We traveled some more and finally got settled into Pastor Robert’s house where we stayed for the trip, and spent our first night. Our first full day there, Saturday, consisted of a lot of conversation with Pastor Robert about what the needs in his country were and about how His Hands could provide the most effective help there. Many ideas were proposed and discussed, setting the groundwork for our future international outreaches with information regarding Trinidad and even other countries in the area as well.
The next morning, we were picked up by a lady pastor from Whitehall Rd Church and taken to have service with them. Pastor Robert, who oversees multiple churches in the country, came by and picked us up from there afterwards, then took us to his main church to take part in their service. Both services were incredible experiences that won’t soon be forgotten.
Later that day, we got to do what His Hands had been waiting for, and what we truly love to do. A man from the church came to pick me up and took me to the Piparo Empowerment Center for a visit with the local homeless community. When we got there, it was a locked compound type setting with guards. We were allowed through the gate and after the guard inspected what was in my bag, we actually entered through into the building.
The people were already assembled in the dining hall, waiting for us. We opened with prayer, and then Kelly, the man who had brought me there, played a few songs on a guitar. After that, we finally got down to what I had been waiting for. Everyone sat patiently and waited their turn for me to serve them some of our care packages, even though they were in situations of true desperation, owning almost nothing. When we were done handing out packages, we did a couple more songs before I spoke to the people for a few minutes, prayed a prayer of blessing on them, and closed it out.
There were a few people that wanted to stand and thank me for the packages. One man even hugged my neck, just because he was so glad for a couple of peppermints that were in his package! One man opened his and took out a new pair of socks, and put them on right then and there. They all were so humble and thankful. It was a powerful sight and I thank God for the opportunity.
In general, my visit was a quick whirlwind, but it was an experience that I will appreciate for years to come. It is hard to believe that there are people in 2016 that still live in some of the dwellings that I saw there in Trinidad. There are people there with great needs and we are grateful to have been able to extend a helping hand to them. The homeless community we met was a huge blessing to us and we hope to connect with them again soon. And YOU were all just as much a part of this as me. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to everyone that supports us in any way, shape, fashion, or form. We could not do what we do without you. You make all of this possible.
We are extremely excited about our start in the international scene, and we know that there is so much more to come. Stay with us as we continue to #BeTheChange.
Here’s to the next one!
-James P Lacombe