Renee's Mission Trip Experience
In 2018, a group from RiverGlen went on a mission trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. One of the group members, Renee Gilhart, was nervous and excited to go on her first mission trip. “I was excited, but also nervous because I hadn’t done anything like this before. I spent a lot of time getting my passport and packing. I had heard good things from other people about mission trips and was ready to jump in. The trip leader was so helpful in getting us prepared.”
The day came and the group started their journey to Haiti. “It was a really eye opening experience," Renee says. "I’d never been out of the country before. When I got to Haiti, I thought ‘Wow, people really live like this.’ The culture was totally different, but at the same time there were a lot of similarities.”
The group stayed at an orphanage for children with disabilities. Renee loved connecting with the kids each day. The kids loved having the group visit. “The language barrier didn’t even matter, they just loved being with us.”
Each day, the group would travel to help RiverGlen’s church plant, Green Church. Renee remembers, “we built benches and painted. After lunch, we’d run a VBS for the kids in the community at Green Church. People were so thankful and joyful. Some of the men from the village came to help us build and paint.”
Being in Haiti changed Renee’s worldview, “it was interesting to me that even though it felt like they didn’t have all the privileges we’re used to, they were happy and had good lives. It’s humbling to see how they have joy and love others, even more so than some of us do, but with way less than we have. It also opened my eyes to the needs that exist in our own communities in the US. People need help everywhere.”
Renee shared that mission trips are beneficial for anyone that wants to go. “If you’re afraid to go out of the country, go somewhere in the US. Like the Pittsburgh missions trip this spring. It’s one a week of your life. You go to help others, but you also get a lot in return. Your faith in God increases when you help others. If you have any desire at all, take the step of faith and GO!”
RiverGlen's next missions opportunity is a trip to Pittsburgh, March 25th-31st. Find out more here.