2018 Mission Trip Reflections

2018 Mission Trip Reflections

Our foundational mission is quite simply “To Serve”.  We do this daily by caring for patients in our clinics and in the communities throughout Tennessee that we are so blessed to serve.  Every year, we are able to expand our serving internationally by sending a select group of STAR employees to care for those in desperate need in Haiti.  Our mission team returned from Haiti nearly two weeks ago.  They were able to do incredible work alongside our friends from LiveBeyond.  After some time to collect their thoughts, each member has shared how this mission has affected them personally.  Thank you to each one of these wonderful people for the awesome service you were able to provide!

 

Dave Kempfert

“Thanks to STAR for the opportunity to serve others and be the hands of feet of God in Haiti. Our STAR team became a family very quickly and I honestly love them all and feel blessed to have learned from them. Hard to put Mission week into words. Never been anywhere where I felt Heaven and Hell existed in the same place. Live Beyond is amazing. A place of grace, assistance, love, and hope, but also a place of discipline in an unruly and devastated region. I feel that the message I kept hearing throughout the week was one of ridding our lives of passivity. Peace can only exist in conflict, and it needs warriors to fight the battles against the injustices of this life. It’s easy to get fired up for a week on a Mission trip, but I don’t want to lose the feeling once we settle in back home. Haiti and the USA are similar in that they both suffer in the wreckage of people accepting “that’s the way the world is.” I couldn’t look at these beautiful people and accept that. I know this trip has strengthened my goals to rid my life of passivity, to live more intentionally for those who need to be strengthened, and to inspire my family with a renewed spirit. I will never be the same…”

 

Katie Spruell

“Haiti has changed my life.  I cannot begin to describe the level of poverty and hunger that I saw during my time serving, but what I can describe is the love the people had for each other and for us. They had a different kind of love unlike anything I have ever seen. Most of them would only have one meal a day on a good week yet they would offer us (Americans!) some of their food.  I went into the mission trip thinking I would have an impact on them but it turned out quite the opposite. Witnessing their love, kindness and gentle spirit- knowing their living conditions and all of the trials that they have to face in order to survive- has taught me more than words can ever express.

I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to serve in Haiti. We had the most incredible team from STAR and as a whole. Our STAR crew feels more like family now than friends and only God can do that in a matter of a few days! I have been praying for an opportunity to serve and to “make disciples of all nations” and STAR blessed me with this opportunity. I cannot thank everyone enough for this blessing or for the thoughts and prayers while we were on the trip.”

“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.  Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.   -Luke 6: 20-21

 

Michelle Daughtry

“Haiti was an amazing experience. This mission trip opened my eyes to extreme poverty and the privilege I have to not worry about meeting my basic needs. While we were over there, I truly saw the heart and hand of God work through us. Such a powerful thing to see those that have significant lack of smile and praise the God I serve for the things they do have. I was humbled. I am in awe of Him and how He used the team to impact the people of Haiti and each other. The kids we worked with had such a sweet, resilient spirit. I am honored to have been selected and blessed to work for a company that lives its mission of service.”

 

Allison Varnell

“Haiti was absolutely incredible!!  I’m so grateful that I was provided with such a life changing opportunity in such a beautiful place. This medical mission is by the far the best thing I’ve done as a Certified Athletic Trainer! And the four people I was able to go with are not only some of the best physical therapists I know, but even better people! They went from strangers to friends in a matter of minutes and from friends to family over the course of the week! I am so blessed!

I learned so much over the course of the week. Working with children that have a physical handicap taught me how to use the skills I use daily with my athletes in a different way. I also learned that, although there are lots of differences I could focus on between myself and the people of Haiti, there is also beauty in how similar we are. We are all humans and we all can make the world a better place just by helping each other out. I am going to hold onto what I learned in Haiti for the rest of my life.”

 

Bryant “Sugar” Hall

“There are impactful moments in life that leave you forever changed.  Our medical mission trip to Haiti with Live Beyond was just that.  I will never be the same because of this wonderful opportunity that STAR’s leadership afforded me.  I was extremely blessed and humbled to see God’s grace through the eyes of my Haitian friends.

Everyday we are able to serve through our physical therapy profession, but this was quite different.  It was the same energy, effort, and competence with our serving, but it was impactful to meet a dire need that wouldn’t have been met without our presence.  I am glad I could be the hands and feet of Jesus to my Haitian friends.  I am forever grateful for STAR’s leadership allowing me to experience God in a way I’ve never encountered Him.

With joyful humility, Bryant”