With the anticipation of a new adventure to perform God’s work and submit to his will, our team met at church EARLY in the morning (2 a.m.) to depart for O’hare airport and our first leg of the journey. The weather was not in our favor, but prayers were protecting our team as we made it safely despite dense fog, rain and overall adverse conditions.
Blessings for the team continued as we checked in all our bags and were able to squeak under the weight limit of 50 lbs on our bags, with at least 1/2 a pound to spare! The flights to Miami and eventually Cap Haitian in the Nord (northern) district of Haiti went very smooth. We arrived shortly after the lunch hour and checked our bags through customs. For the first time in our experiences passing through Haitian customs, nearly all our bags were thoroughly inspected. It was interesting however, that customs were more concerned with Jodi’s bag full of school supplies, VBS items and kids trinkets than they were with Josh’s bag containing ominous looking tools, pump sprayers and chemicals. Despite the probing, the team escaped the customs inspection with all our luggage intact.
In our past 2 airport arrivals in Haiti, our host Ric, had been just outside the airport awaiting our arrival. In this instance, we exited the airport to find no one we knew within an eye shot. We anxiously awaited for our transport. After about 30 minutes, one of the outdoor stewards asked if we wanted use his cell phone to contact our transport. By God’s grace, Jodi had a business card for Ephesian, our interpreter, in her bandaid case she decided at the last minute to bring on the trip. Eric was able to reach Ephesian and find out that Ric was on his way after having experienced some truck problems.
The mission’s smaller truck arrived and we loaded the bags and 6 of the team members to depart for the mission house. Pastor Ray, Eric & Josh stayed behind for a second pick-up to arrive. On the way back to the mission house the first group experienced a minor accident, while getting rear ended by a taptap (local transport). After inspecting the truck to ensure there was no damage, insurance information was exchanged and the police called to file a report. Ok, the part about the police report and insurance did not really happen. There was no real damage to the truck, so onward and upward the team traveled to the mission house.
The remainder of the day included some reconnecting with old friends, acclimating to our new surroundings and settling into our accommodations for the week. In preparation for the first Haitian shower of the trip, we installed one of the heated shower heads brought with us from the States. Cooper was the lucky first candidate to enjoy a warm Haitian shower (previously a nearly impossible thought). The reviews were raving and represent a small, yet amazing blessing from America to our wonderful New Hope Mission hosts. We went to bed in preparation for what was sure to be a new and exiting day of performing God’s work and glorifying his kingdom.