Mission Teams must respect Haitian customs in order to preserve the witness of the team. Open Door Haiti asks that team members abide by the following guidelines:
1. Haitian Christians do not use tobacco; ODH Mission Team Participants must avoid all tobacco use. To be clear, this means no tobacco use publicly or privately during this mission trip.
2. Haitian Christians are careful about their language; ODH Mission Team Participants must keep their language respectful and clean.
3. The Haitian Church holds to very conservative Christian values, and the Haitian culture, as a whole, does not tolerate certain lifestyles that many Americans embrace. The very appearance of a homosexual lifestyle could put someone in physical danger in the community at large. While Christians might differ on issues related to homosexuality and gender issues, if you identify as LGBTQ, we ask that for your safety, the safety of the ODH Mission Team Participants and for the reputation of Open Door Church within their communities in Haiti, that any behavior or appearance related to homosexuality or transsexuality be avoided for the duration of the trip. If you cannot abide by this policy, we ask that you please refrain from attending a mission trip with Open Door Haiti.
4. Haitian Christians have different standards for modesty in their appearance than we’re accustomed to. Because of this, we ask ODH Mission Team Participants to cover their tattoos if possible. Also, if an ODH Mission Team Participant has piercings other than a standard ear piercing, we ask that those piercings be either covered or removed for the duration of the trip. For men, even standard ear piercings should be removed as this conveys a different meaning in Haitian culture. As for dress, women’s skirts or dresses should be knee length and their shoulders should be covered. Men should always wear shirts .
5. Haitian Christians have different standards for modesty in their behavior as well. We ask that all public displays of romantic affection, whether the participants are married or not, be avoided.
6. If you wish to give a gift to a child or a new friend, please do this through your Team Leader. Gifts will be given the day we leave, and the pastor will be responsible for distributing the gifts. We do not want to perpetuate an unhealthy attitude of begging among our Haitian friends and/or obligate all future teams to bring gifts.
7. Safety requires that you stay with your group at all times. Ask your team leader for special permission to leave the compound and/or visit a Haitian friend’s home.
8. Respect the rules of your housing area.
9. Respect the authority of Team Leaders.
10. I will follow Jesus Christ’s example of love and servant leadership in all I do.
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