In (insert year here), I took a trip to Children of the Promise and it changed my life.  Because of this trip, I decided to…and God has used my life in profound ways because of it.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a version of the words above from people who volunteered with COTP over the past 24 years. In fact, I’m one of those people. I took a trip to COTP in 2008 and it changed my life. Because of this trip, I decided to leave behind a house and job in Southern California to move to Haiti. I’ve been with COTP ever since and God has used my life in profound ways! I only took that trip in 2008 because my wife took a trip in 2001, and it changed her life.

From 2010-2019, over 2,400 volunteers made the trip to COTP’s campus in Haiti. During these trips, countless hours were spent caring for and playing with children, fixing and painting, building and roofing, crying and encouragement, walks and outings, sweating…and praying. COTP and its campus was literally built through the efforts and investments of volunteers. However, a different, more important type of building happened during these trips that is and always will be the core of our ministry: people connections leading to mutually changed lives. 

The poorly kept secret is that these trips are not about the stuff we bring or the stuff we do, they are about presence and the proximity to people that creates connection. For our Haitian staff and those we serve, these trips tangible communication that they are seen and loved. For the volunteers, these trips break down perceptions and transform our view on people, the world and what is important. For all of us, these trips break down barriers and enable true and deep human connections. These trips in themselves are ministry: multidirectional, messy experiences that God uses to build His Kingdom.

Due to the instability in Haiti since 2020, we’ve only hosted a handful of volunteers over this span. The mission of COTP has continued, but the ministry has suffered in the absence of this partnership. Even though we believe this break from volunteers was wise and cautious, we still lament what was missing and what was lost. AND we are ecstatic that the situation in Northern Haiti has stabilized enough to resume some volunteer trips once again!  

This past November, the 7 members of the COTP board took a trip to COTP for the first time in 5 years. It was a sweet reunion for each member of the trip, and an eye opener as to all that God has been orchestrating over that span. So many things have been transformed, in our programs and in our leadership.  However, the same spirit of connection and ministry remains. Our hope is that this trip initiates a new era of volunteering with COTP. We have trips planned for the first 5 months of 2024, and we are actively planning more for the year as God allows.

If you’ve felt a heart tug to return to Haiti and COTP, we invite you to reach out and explore the potential of a trip in the next year or two. Or maybe you’ve considered taking a trip but it’s never worked out. Give us a call and let’s talk about it. Like you, we’ve asked a lot of questions about resuming volunteer trips to Haiti:

  • Is it safe?
  • What will I do?
  • Will I be useful?

We want to talk about all the things!  For more information, reach out to one of the people below: