Father and Son’s Haiti Mission Trip

 In previous posts, I’ve mentioned covering future stories about raising boys creatively in addition to such topics as crafts, trips, and birthday parties.  In this post,  I’m very happy to include the following about a father and son traveling for the first time out of the country on a mission trip to Haiti.

Mike and Benjamyn Rickaby will be traveling to Haiti May 6th-15th with 16 other members of their group.  They will serve the House of Hope, and Mike describes it as a ministry dedicated to spreading God’s love and grace by providing food, shelter, clothing, and both Christian and secular education to the children of Haiti.

I put together a question and answer format for Mike as he gives insight about their trip.

With your upcoming mission trip, what is you and your son’s spiritual background?

Both Ben and I are what you might call “born from above” Christians.  We have known Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior since birth and have grown up within the Lutheran church.  Both my wife’s and my parents provided a great template for us growing up to maintain in making our church community and spiritual lives a priority as we have also done so with Ben and his sister Allie.  We all attend the UNL Lutheran LCMS Chapel which is a great mission place in itself, and a great spiritual home.

How would you describe your relationship with your son now?

Ben is going to be a senior at UNL next year as a journalism major and living with us at home.  We have a great relationship and share many common interests.  We both enjoy listening to Christian metal music and going to concerts of our favorite bands.  We are Sci-Fi junkies (actually the whole family is) and go to movies often and enjoy reading and talking about comic books and heroes.  Ben is the editor for several of the comic books that I publish, and my confidant for publishing decisions at CE Publishing Group ( http://cepublishinggroup.com/ ).  We play frisbee golf when weather permits with my other son (in-law) Joe, and also play lacrosse on a team in the summer.  And when the weather is bad, the boys both kick my rear end at video games. I also do a lot with my daughter since she is a ceramics/art major at UNL and always dragging us into help with her art projects at school and the Lux center.

We actually moved to Lincoln from Salem, Oregon to be closer to our kids while they were going to college.  They both are a big part of our lives and we are so happy to be able to be around them during these last years of growing up into adulthood.

How did you two decide to go on this mission trip?

We learned about the UNL Haiti mission trip from Pastor Bill who has been going to Haiti for the last couple of years.  House of Hope Haiti is organized here in the US and the director teleconferenced in for one of the UNL church services to tell us about how they provide both physical and spiritual needs for a very large number of children and families in Haiti.  Basically Joya and I thought it would be a great mission experience and asked Ben if he would like to go, and he said “Sure.” It was kind of a no brainer.  And since I had never been on a mission trip before myself , I felt that this would be a great opportunity for both Ben and I.

As a parent, do you have any fears of traveling with your son to a place such as Haiti?

Neither Ben or myself have done much worldly traveling.  Ben went on a study abroad program to Japan last summer, but that was nothing like going to a country like Haiti.  The conditions at the orphanage are completely safe, but the environment in general seems fairly unstable in comparison to what we are used to.  I worked on a prison safety study last summer through my work where I was able to see photos of the conditions that exist in this country and it’s an eye-opener for sure.  It’s a third world economy that has many people in great need.

We are going to the doctor for checkups to make sure we have the proper inoculations to prevent getting sicknesses like Malaria, Hepititis and Choleora.  Basic illnesses that are definitely not commonplace here in our country.  Even though travel there is mainly safe, there is always a bit of apprehension of what to expect and how to prepare for it.

What do you and your son hope to experience from the trip?

We both hope to experience and share the love and depth of God’s endless grace that has been so abundantly imparted upon our family.  We hope that we will be able to help in any way we can as God guides us to fulfill whatever needs for this orphanage, school and community.  And during this mission trip increase our own faith in the process.  We’re not exactly sure what to expect, but we know that God will bless our time there and make us productive and humble our hearts in the presence of his children who are in such great need in so many ways.  Just looking at the faces of the smiling children on the House of Hope Haiti website inspires us to want to be there helping them to see and share the face of Jesus.  http://houseofhopehaiti.com/

Mike mentioned to me the cost per person is $1,500.00.  If anyone would like to donate towards this mission trip, the address is:

Nebraska District LCMS, P.O. Box 407,  Seward, NE 68434

Also, be sure to write ‘ULC Haiti Trip’ in the memo line.  If anyone has questions for Mike about their trip, he can be reached at:  cepublishinggroup@gmail.com.

Many thanks to Mike for sharing information about their upcoming trip.  We will follow up with this father and son duo upon their return and hope to learn more from them.



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