God has been so good. It all started out with getting to Miami around 11 o’clock last night. Our team was so excited/anxious to be arriving in Miami and knowing we would be in Haiti not even 12 hours later. My room, Kari Ricks, Kyle Moffett and Meredith Moorman were too excited to go to bed that we stayed up till 2 talking about everything known to man and waking up at 4 this morning.
Four o’ clock came too early this morning, but God provided all 23 of us with the energy and ability we needed to get through the day. We caught our first flight out of Miami this morning at 7:25 and headed to Port-au-Prince. Arriving in Port-au-Prince at 9:45 we gathered up all 50 of our checked bags and headed for the small Haitian airport. The worst flight was still awaiting. After sitting in the Haitian airport for 45 minutes we took the worst plane ride I have ever taken. Flying 12 people and half of our luggage in a 19 passenger plane I was ready to get sick. Our plane took off with us knowing we would not reach elevation level the whole flight. I was ok, even though David Sadowski and Ryan Hildebrand did not make the flight any better.
After a 45 minute flight we landed on a gravel dirt road in the middle of the field that I can promise most people they never have and never will land in. We then rode a tap-tap van (apparently you have to tap the van to make it go?) to the MOLE Saint Nicolas mission camp where each of our eyes had been opened to something we had never seen. Homes destroyed, kids walking with no shoes, ladies carrying stuff on their heads, and donkeys walking around like dogs in Texas.
We landed at our hotel where we currently have no running water and we each went to our rooms. The 12 of us, while we waited on the other part of our team, were given a tour of the whole camp. My eyes began to be open to the brokenness the rest of the world is in that I had never stopped to think about. I walked around with our 3 translators, a tour guide, and half of my team to different popular places within the mission (police station, Catholic Church, and the ocean). Along the way I began to find kids with no shoes, no clothes, and no toys following us around just wanting people to love on them and pay attention to them. That’s when I realized God put me in Haiti, instead of the Bahamas with my friends, for my last spring break ever for a reason.
Hanging out and seeing the kids was well worth the travel. The kids smiling faces and gitty laughs are the best things I’ve heard and seen in awhile. Little do these kids know instead of us bringing joy to their life, they are bringing joy into ours. I spent the afternoon walking around with Kyle Moffett and a very patient translator trying to learn different phrases to say to kids and adults as we came upon them. Coma u reli (What is your name) and Mwe reli Sydney (My name is Sydney) and zahmi (friend). While learning these phrases we began to gather lots of friends in our tour turning our tour into a singing, praising and laughing kind of tour. One of our little Haitian friends began singing “This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made,” and my heart melted.
We were already showing Christ in our life into others. We spent the rest of the evening hanging out with about 40 kids playing different games and then it was church time. This is my first time in a church that was not a church I was familiar with. We all went in and took our spots on each pew before church and began singing and worshiping in Creole. As the sermon kept going more and more people began to come, which was AWESOME! Each member on the left side of the church had to get up and give their seats to numerous children as they were walking in to praise the same God we praise, just in a different language. It was awesome and showed me that God loves all over the world no matter how far and how wide. He loves us unconditionally no matter what we have done now or in the past. He loves each of us because we were each uniquely and wonderfully made. Now we are off to watch How to Train A Dragon with all of our new friends!!!