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The Online Bridge: Winter 2005
Issue 10, January 2005

Chris Hoffman: Grenada Trip

Since I attended Taylor in 1999-2000, I have stayed in Edmonton and have been working in the construction field. I am currently framing houses.

heard about the trip to Grenada from Paul Weinmaster just three weeks before I left. He was telling my brother and me that he was going to Grenada and that they were still looking for more people to go. I had never gone on a short-term missions trip before and thought that this would be a really great experience. I was especially interested in this trip because of the focus on construction. The possibility of going to another country to help people who have a real urgent need excited me. I wanted to take some of the skills that I have learned in the past few years and use them for God. I also believed that this would be an amazing experience to share with my brother. I asked God if I should go and just a couple days later I had an anonymous financial donor, and I also had confirmation from some others who felt I should go.

       

We were in Grenada to rebuild homes that were destroyed by Hurricane Ivan on September 7, 2004. There were twenty-five of us there with Samaritan’s Purse. We were split into five person groups. My group was building temporary shelters in a really poor area of the island called Apres Toute. We were reminded that we were not only there to build homes, but also to build relationships with the people. Many kids were around and I loved getting to know them, playing with them, and showing God’s love in any way that I could.

was surprised to see how the people were moving on with their lives after the storm. The people were shocked for awhile after, but soon began to pick-up their lives and start over. The people were especially joyful and friendly. I was surprised at the extent that random people on the street were willing to help us out. The people of Grenada were very glad to see us there helping them rebuild. The people in the area we were working in were more than willing to help us out in any way they could.

       

Samaritan’s Purse is involved in assessing homes that are in most urgent need of help and organizing groups to go and do the work. They were also responsible for getting all the material out there, which mainly came from the U.S. Other than building, we were told that Samaritan’s Purse will distribute a Christmas box to every child in Grenada this year.

This trip has made me realize how much I had taken for granted here in Canada. Things such as a home, fresh water and food are not basic items everyone has in Grenada. I have also learned a lesson about materialism. I saw how joyful these people were with the little they had and it became real to me that it does not matter what you have. These things will only make you happy for a short while. Philippians 3:7-8 “I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ.”