Haiti Mission Log
Second overseas Missions trip
8/1 – 8/7
Brother Dale brought us to airport. The team was Brock, myself and new team member, Carolyn Merriett. Flight was good. Brock was detained because of misspelled middle name. Got to hotel about midnight for 8:00 am flight. All is well. It is hot and muggy in Ft. Lauderdale.
On flight to Cap Haitian, very small plane needs to be balanced, sitting in back. Started day with power bar, looking forward to landing. Plane has only 10 rows! Interestingly, carry on’s not checked, pilot fly’s with doors open to cockpit, flight not too comfortable. Picked up by Cheron and went to the first orphanage out of two that she runs. This one was all men. We all introduced ourselves and had a chance to talk to them. I spoke to one young man at length , who was very knowledgeable and wanted to know about our criminal justice system and how was it to work in jail.
We then went to the second orphanage, which was full of boys and girls from babies to 16. All spoke French fluently and some were also fluent in English. The younger ones spent the afternoon trying to teach me French. It was quite a sight. Even though I lost over 55 lbs since my last overseas visit to a third world, I was still a sizeable man to marvel at. One young man couldn’t stop touching my arms. Ms. Carolyn is doing quite well for her first trip to a third world country. She is loving on the babies. We come home and ate a nice meal of chicken, rice and beans. We then went back to the orphanage and I taught a Bible Study to the whole group using an interpreter. It went well. We came home relaxed and had a fabulous mango cobbler dessert and of course I had my tea. After fellowshipping, we all went to bed without going for a walk because 18 Doberman patrol the area at night for security reasons. God is still good.
Started day about 5:30 am and have a power bar with a bowl of oatmeal. I learned from the first trip that when you are on a missions trip that the consumption of a lot of food is not only not necessary but in many ways not right when you consider your surrounding circumstances. Our first stop was the first orphanage where Brock was going tot each science to the group and Carolyn was going to teach English and reading to the group. After getting them set up, I would spend part of the day picking up supplies with Cheron for both orphanages. We went to about five stores, picking up supplies along with the biggest bag of charcoal I had ever seen in my life. Of course that caught my eye! We returned to the orphanage to a bunch of happy kids who were enjoying life and just running around. This is really a blessing when you consider their circumstances. Cheron had originally had only one orphanage but had to open a second one because of the earthquake. We come home for lunch and then went to the second location which sits on about 10 acres of land. We picked up some of the kids from the first location and took them to the second one. They had a blast running around in the open fields that were enclosed by a high security wall. I spent the mid evening speaking to the older young men, teaching them about 7 traits of a Godly man taken from Acts 3: 1-12. After the class, we ran around the field together and then took the kids back to the first orphanage. The rides through the city were long and very bumpy. At least 12 kids rode in the back of the pick up and held on for dear life. The team arrived back at the house around 7:30 pm and enjoyed a Haitian dish called pumpkin stew which was quite tasty. Everyone was tired but blessed. The host made us a papaya smoothie which was quite refreshing. We then went down for a long rest. PTL. Who let the dogs out means a whole lot around here.
Started the day a little earlier than normal. Rode around with Cheron to pick up supplies again and take baby to the doctors. The hospital is set up so you must pay as you go and then pay for your medicine. After picking up a few more ladies, I rode in the back of the truck with another lady. This is quite common in this part of the world. You get a chance to see things from a whole new perspective. Unlike Sierra Leone, the people here are not as a rule pro-Americans. They quite frankly don’t trust us thus are not as friendly. There was never any others from the looks to have their pictures taken. We finally made it to the orphanage with the younger children. Carolyn and I taught them English by then asking us questions and us providing the answers. Brock taught the older ones geography. The men Carolyn and I taught had many questions. We arrived back at the house late after driving around with 22 people in a pickup for 6. This is also common. We enjoyed another great meal of mac and cheese with garlic and pepper, homemade pizza with beef and more pumpkin stew. The meals had a kick but were good. There was no sleep last night. The heat and humidity prevented that. All in all another productive day. There was some concern as it seemed as if someone was trying to break into the orphanage which is surrounded by a brick wall to steal some metal supplies being used for construction. I spoke to Cheron about suing the Nehemiah approach until they could get dogs at the compound and she agreed.
Today we woke up and left the house by 7 am. We were headed up to both sites to pick up 16 kids and take them up to see the Citadel, which is a historic site (al old fort built to protect the people from a French invasion). From the base to the top of the mountain was over a 7 mile hike. We drove up to the halfway point and began the walk up the mountain path. The walk was basically a straight up walk which was not easy. We took our time and I told Brock to keep an eye on Ms. Carolyn. After about 50 yards we stopped and I told our host no way she was going to keep walking. Horses were available to ride on so we put her on the horse with a guide. The rest of us continued on our journey and I too was offered a horse but continued to walk. With the altitude and climate it was extremely difficult even though I was 55 lbs lighter than my last trip. Cheron was with me along with a teen young boy and girl. The guide told us to stop often which we did. I gave some of my water to the young girl who was running out. The young man began to hold my hand and help me along. As we finally neared the top I had people on each side of me and one behind helping me get to the top. I immediately was handed a piece of fresh mango and more water. The mango was refreshing and energized me. We then toured the fort and doing the way up and down the stairs inside. The young men and women continued to assist me and Ms. Carolyn. As we began our descent I put Carolyn back on the horse and two young men stayed by my side all the way down. After we all made it safely, we drove down the mountain and then stopped for a nice pre-packed lunch and then returned the kids to the orphanage. Needless to say, all in all it was a great day but Cheron along with the rest of us were quite tired. We sat around, talked, had a nice meal of leftovers and just talked. We went to bed early and God finally sent us some rain. It was a good night. As I am sitting here writing this, in the morning as is my routine. I am watching a baby lizard crawl up my phone cord. On last year’s trip the lizards were all around the house but outside. This year they seem to be comfortable inside. Interesting indeed.
Well today we slept in a little longer, 7:30 am. It rained during the night and for the first time it was much cooler. I had a chance to minister to Cheron as we left to pack up some of the kids to take them to a conference. By god’s grace her work is quite impressive and he is certainly using her. The team went to a Haitian café for lunch where we experienced some local cuisine. I had fired goat which was very tasty. WE all then went to the orphanage where as always we were greeted well. I spoke to the young men again and then we said our goodbyes. This was at the second orphanage. I hadn’t been feeling great for about 24 hours but God was keeping me. After running the kids back and forth we came home to a nice dinner with some island foods. The meals were always delicious and different. We then went back to the orphanage where I had the pleasure of dedicating five babies to the Lord. It was quite a moving experience. After the service where the kids also did much singing, they were treated to some ice cream that Sister Carolyn had bought for them. They enjoyed it immensely and we all danced to Haitian gospel music. The evening will be something I remember for a long time. All of us then came home where we just talked and prayed about the blessings of the week. We then had a time of prayer with Cheron and then went to bed as we would be heading out early the next morning to return home. We have been overwhelmed by your experiences but again truly blessed.
Well after a short night’s sleep, it is time to return to the USA. We had a breakfast of fresh fruit smoothie with fruit picked from the yard with Creo eggs and French toast. It, as all of our meals was very good. We got in the pickup truck and headed to the airport. It is a very small airport packed with people. We made it through however. I spoke to the host about an issue with one of the young men that she would have to deal with. There was disappointment and I hated to leave her with that. I encouraged her as best I could and we said our goodbyes. We boarded a small plane and got the last three seats. Stopped in the Bahamas for fuel and then made it to Ft. Lauderdale. Our flight to BWI is delayed so we have nowhere to go so we will wait
This has been a rewarding trip. It wasn’t as physical as the one to Sierra Leone, however the spiritual warfare I experienced was something that I never had before. The darkness was evident all around. God be praised, however there were many breakthroughs. The only night I was able to sleep for more than 1 to 2 hours was the last two. I am truly grateful for all the prayers for myself and the team. Everyone worked hard is tired but we are all the better and stronger for what we experienced. There is much work to be done in Haiti. I have committed myself and ministry experience to helping our missionary get the work done to the glory of God. Stay tuned…….