Tuesday, Dec. 17. This was the day that our nine months of planning finally became reality! It was a whirlwind to get out of our house by 3:30 a.m., but the Lord was faithful in giving us the strength to get it all done by early morning! When Bill and Monica (my sister) came to take us to the airport, we quickly loaded 22 pieces of luggage. There was no time to spare! It was a cold, snowy early morning as we drove to Akron/Canton airport. The roads were slippery. It was hard to say our goodbyes but we knew the time had come, and this was God’s doing. We felt His strength.
When we finally got on the plane, which was headed to Charlotte, NC, we all collapsed into sleep zone. All of us slept on that flight except Grace. She was amazed by the view of the moonlight over the clouds! In Charlotte, we had only 45 minutes to the next flight into Ft. Lauderdale, FL. So at 9:00 in the morning we were eating pizza. It was going to be awhile until we ate pizza again in the States like that!
We arrived at Ft. Lauderdale around noon. We didn’t have much time until the next flight to Port-au-Prince. And then in our haste we read the board wrong and ended up walking through an exit to the gate of a later Haiti flight! When we realized the error and returned, we discovered we had to go back through security of course. Mike was really sweating now, realizing what little time we had before the flight! After Mike got through he went on ahead (with Grant and Grace) to ask them to wait. The rest of us were still at inspections. Wouldn’t you know it, two bags got held for further inspection. We all made it to the gate just as the last people were boarding. That was close!
On this flight I sat between two Haitians. This was a good introduction to Haiti. One was a lady who was a doctor from Northern Haiti, and the other one was a single man, living on the west side of Port-au-Prince, who was a construction worker. Both of them could speak a little English and they both helped me with Creole. It was a very interesting flight!
Once we reached the Port-au-Prince airport, the kids liked the band that was welcoming travelers. Our boys just got big smiles! We had made it to Haiti! Trinity was extra excited too along with Grace who didn’t know what to expect, but felt the excitement from the rest of us. It took awhile to get all our many pieces of luggage. A Haitian had been assigned to meet us and get us through baggage claim. Our luggage was finally piled up on three carts and it was a sight to see!
When Trinity saw the Haitians standing about ten deep all along the sidewalk outside the airport door she gasped. “You are making us go out there? You didn’t tell me we were going to walk through a parade.” When we got out there, Evan said, “This is like a zoo and we are the animals in the cage being stared at.” It was very uncomfortable feeling for all of us, especially with so much luggage! When I saw ALL those faces this verse of the Bible came to mind: “Look on the fields, for they are white for harvest.” Haitians had been assigned to meet us at the fence and then at the van that took us out to the bus station, so it did proceed smoothly after all, except for the two times all the bags went tumbling! We were all quite ready to get on the bus and we also had paid quite a bit to get that far!
The bus ride from Port-au-Prince to Les Cayes was uneventful overall because it got dark after one hour, but it was fun for us to watch our kids look with unbelief at the street scenes and people walking everywhere. Trinity said, “This is so sad. It is so eye opening and unreal. I never knew this existed.” She could hardly comprehend so many living in tents. Grant said the same and added what stood out to him was the trash everywhere in the streets, in the river beds, etc. It was unreal! Evan said it was hard to describe and the sight was overwhelming. He couldn’t believe all the people everywhere, the trucks/vehicles filled with overflowing people, and down every street the Haitians are selling something. The kids found out quickly the biggest truck goes first! It is a pecking order.
The bus stopped often in Port and then picked up speed later and we all slept a lot during that five hour trip to Les Cayes. We arrived at our new home and sure had a warm welcome. Even our home was decorated! Everything was unloaded in the living room before we knew it with the help of the missionaries. It was hard to believe we were finally here! We were very thankful how everything went and how God provided each step of the way.
We really appreciate all your prayers!