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The Partnership Behind the Poster

The Partnership Behind the Poster

Sara Marie Moore | Sep 9, 2015

A picture is worth 1000 words. And at least 1000 words are woven within the pixels of every picture. Praying Pelican Missions' 2015 poster holds the story of a genuine partnership, long-term relationship and sustainable ministry. This is the story of the 2015 poster girls: First there is Cati, a six-year-old girl from the town of Mariani in Haiti. A strong-willed child eager for affection, she was looking for an older sister in Christ to embrace. When Beckie Irvin, a 17-year-old from Texas came to visit with New Life Community Church in 2012, she and Cati just clicked. Beckie and her team partnered with MEBSH Mariani Church to assist in constructing a church building and reach out to children in the community. “Every day we would do construction work in the mornings and Vacation Bible School in the afternoons,” said Beckie. About 200 children came to the church for VBS in the afternoon. Naturally, some of the children would come early, very early. “I veered more on the side of playing with kids all day long instead of doing construction and then VBS,” said Beckie. “That morning time was actually my favorite time because we just got to hang out with them. Cati just latched herself onto me.  Every day that first year I would be working and then I would hear this scream and I knew it was her. She would come running up and jump on me. We got to be really good friends.” Sometime that week, a photo was snapped of the two. It ended up being chosen as Praying Pelican Missions’ 2015 poster picture.   Meanwhile, Beckie was planning her third trip back to Cati’s church. Beckie initially went to Haiti with her father, Chris Irvin, and his friend’s church. They both returned in 2013 with Chris’ new pastorate, Grace Bible Fellowship. Cati recognized Beckie right away and they reconnected. In 2014 Grace Bible Fellowship felt a call to partner with a church in Belize. Beckie went with and loved it. But her heart was still in Haiti. This summer she joined New Life Community Church again and was able to reconnect with Cati. Now nine years old, she remembered Beckie right away. And Beckie had brought Cati a poster with their photo right dab in the middle. Cati was thrilled. photo
"Cati just latched herself onto me." - Beckie Irvin
New Life Community Church was back for their sixth annual trip to assist MEBSH Mariani Church in constructing their church building. And this year it was finished. The team was able to join in a worship service in the church building for the first time in six years. Over the years Beckie realized that both churches were benefiting from the partnership and that the mission trips were not just about helping the church to construct a building. She realized that it was about bringing churches together across cultures. “I think what we kind of expect is for the American church to partner with the church in a third world country and that church benefits from the Americans. But I think what is so amazing is by partnering with a church that is so different from us we learned so much from them.” When Beckie and the team left MEBSH Mariani Church in July, the Haitian church said they would be praying for them. Beckie realized that it was a true partnership. “It’s not just us trying to fix some problem so that we feel better or do some construction work so we feel better about ourselves. It really is a partnership. We are all humans and we can all pray for each other and love each other. That is really impactful.”
"It really is a partnership." - Beckie Irvin
As for Beckie, her trips with Praying Pelican Missions have affirmed and inspired her call to live a missional life. “I have always felt called to missions,” said Beckie. “I have a particular burden for third world and developing countries. I think that my trips with Praying Pelican Missions have served a few different purposes that have been really important in my life.” First, her trips with PPM have confirmed her passion to serve in missions as a career. Second, the trips have given her preparation and training for the international missions work she would like to pursue. And the trips have helped her to keep her vision while studying at a secular university. She is currently a junior at Texas Tech University, studying for a degree in Agriculture and Applied Economics, which she is hoping to one day use in mission work. “My trips with Praying Pelican Missions have meant a lot to me. Every time I go I am just so full and Christ is always so apparent and present on the trips.”  

So there you have it. A partnership, a friendship and a picture worth posting. And reposting.

  About the author: Sara Marie Moore is a journalist and missions enthusiast. She began her writing career at the Williston Herald in the oil boom town of Williston, N.D. She has also written for the Anoka County Union Herald in Anoka, Minn. and the Minnesota Christian Examiner. Her missions experience includes short-term ministry in 10 countries across Asia and the Americas. She currently oversees the seasonal staff program at Praying Pelican Missions. She married the love of her life, Andrew Moore, in May of 2015 and is excited to start this new chapter of their life together in St. Paul, Minn.


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