These "transformational travel" experiences give participants the opportunity to stand in a different place and as a result see differently. Standing in solidarity with the poor of Haiti is like looking through a window through which one can see not how things are in Haiti, but how much of the rest of the world is. It is also like peering into a mirror in which one can see oneself differently and - hopefully - more clearly in relationship to the poor of Haiti and of the world.
Throughout the decades of the '80s and '90s, Rich in Mercy Institute founders Rich and Daneen Gosser experienced repeated and sometimes extended exposure to conditions of extreme poverty by traveling, studying, and working in Haiti, Honduras, Bolivia, and the Dominican Republic.
These experiences had a profound and permanent impact on their lives. It solidified their resolve to respond to their global neighbors and to invite others to experience similar, life-changing encounters with the poor especially in Haiti.
“Stand up and speak out on behalf of the poor and those who need your voice in this world. Remember that: 1) where you stand will determine what you will see; 2) whom you stand with will determine what you hear; and 3) what you see and hear will determine what you say and how you act.”
Robert McAfee Brown, American theologian
In 1992 they began accompanying "reverse mission pilgrimages" to Haiti, the object of which was NOT - in the traditional sense of "mission" - to make "converts", but rather to bring about a transformation or "conversion" in the participants through encounters in solidarity with people living in extreme poverty.
In 2014 Rich in Mercy Institute founder Dr. Richard Gosser created "Haiti: Window on Our Worlds", a "service learning" course offered in the history department at St. Vincent College. (Latrobe, PA).
Promoting a global culture of solidarity with the poor - in Haiti, Africa, and beyond. - for a more just and sustainable world . . .