A calling to serve

Tribune Staff • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:04 PM

Faith in Action is a mission-based Christian organization led by Tom Braak, its founder and executive director. Its mission to Haiti is March 31 to April 6, and requires up to 15 team members.

Braak, who lives in Haiti, will make preparations and receive the team once they arrive there.

The Rev. John Kenny, pastor of First Reformed Church in Grand Haven, is involved with the strategic planning of these trips. He believes that service is very important for Christians.

“This is what it means to follow Christ,” Kenny said. “The whole idea of being a Christian is this idea of being sent out, meeting needs in the world, not being comfortable and complacent, but going out with a message of God’s love through Christ. And then also bringing relief to difficult places in the world.”

Kenny traveled to Haiti with his wife in 2011 and sees the importance of mission trips.

“I think it’s just fantastic for the exposure,” he said. “It’s an unsettling experience, and that’s a good thing.”

Kenny said people that go on missions get a new perspective on true poverty and need.

“We might think that Muskegon isn’t nice or Detroit has bad areas, or something like that,” he said. “In Haiti, people are really starving, and people are dying from diseases that seem so easy for us to prevent and so primitive.”

While in Haiti, the team will build a new house and a ministry center using the property that the organization owns. The center will be used to improve the community through teaching, Braak said.

Each member of the team will raise their own funds to go on the trip.

“A typical week-long mission trip usually costs about $1,650 per person,” said Tammy Davison, administrative director for Faith in Action. “This includes air travel from the U.S. to Haiti, ground transportation in Haiti, lodging, three meals a day, purified water and all tips.”

Faith in Action focuses on economic development, partnering with local churches and the distribution of clean water.

"We don’t think anything of drinking clean water, and it’s important that we provide it for those who don’t have access to it," Kenny said.

For more information, visit the organization's website: www.faithinactionint.org

— By Emily Anderson, Tribune intern

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