Saturday, July 2, 2016

the last day first.

the whole trip to haiti was INCREDIBLE. we got so many things accomplished & the kids had so many firsts i cannot wait to share with you. with this trip i want to start with the last day & just talk about how amazing God is.

we arrived at the airport around 5:20. stood in the lines. sat down & got a little breakfast burrito & waited to board. we get a notice that our flight had been delayed until like 9 something. i was like alright well more time to eat this burrito. a few minutes pass & we get another notice that the planed had been delayed again, this time until like 1:45. well by this time we were gonna sit in the airport for 6 hours.... my mind started dreaming up ideas. i look at laura & i say you wanna go back to CAD & she's like yep. so we ask the sweet lady helping everyone & she goes to ask her boss. while we wait we befriended this cutie & spoke a little kreyol with her & she was so excited. she came & sat with us & even did our hair.

i call alix & i am like hey our plane is delayed for like hours. he said alright what you wanna do. i said well, we wanna go back to CAD. he said ok. i said look we have $12 dollars. i also told him that laura & i were the only ones coming but he didn't hear that part. the sweet lady comes back & says ok the traffic will be bad & i am like ok well if its just the traffic we will be fine & we made our way out. we wait for alix outside. he comes running up to us with a bag full of frozen cokes for the whole group. he was like where is everyone else? i said alix! i told you they weren't coming. so we start walking towards a tap-tap & we learn how to sell cokes on the street. i am sure everyone thought we were crazy but most laughed & i almost sold 2 & traded one with one guy.

we get in our first tap-tap & go down the road for a bit.

then we get in the next tap-tap with this guy who looks like he is straight out of a rap video. he seriously was super cool looking & the best driver. we would make several stops & we were dancing to the music & i kept asking people on the street, "danse pou mwen" haha they would laugh & then they would dance. we hit a bus & we hit a moto on that ride but after we were done & paid our $2 we handed him one of our frozen cokes & told him thank you bc he was the best driver.

alix in his cage in the back. 

we walk a little bit & then meet pastor jeanty who agreed to take us to CAD & then to the airport.

so we start making our way to CAD & we are so excited bc we know the kids are going to freak out. we hide in the back & pull up & alix gets out. viviane comes walking by & peeps her head in & spots us. shouts our name & then everyone started running towards the van. they looked excited & confused. we get out & give hugs & they were so excited. alix told them what happened & they were really happy our plane was all messed up. we hung out & wrote letters to each other. we played & listened to music & then the time came for us to go again. so we say goodbye & pack into the van again. we literally get 5 minutes down the road & get a call from DD saying the flight is delayed again & now is not leaving until 3:30 but the plane at 3:30 does not have room for us so our choice was to take air france that night at 7:00 to miami stay there & fly to atlanta the next day. so i told alix & back to CAD we go. we pull back in & the kids were like WHAT IS HAPPENING. they told us they would pray & ask God for the plane not to work & they got their prayers answered. by this time FFP had a group stop by & do some songs with the kids. it just so happened some of the people in the group were from CARROLLTON. i was like what in the world. so the FFP group leaves but not before i get my hug from some of my favorite people bryce & saintemene.

robenson & i do this a lot. i will write a line in english to him & he writes a response & we keep it going. it is good practice for him. 

by this time i am hungry & so is my baby. we also had no bug spray for the mosquitoes. luckily, the night before i literally gave robinson bug spray so he took us into their room & opened his suitcase & sprayed me down with bug spray. he then asked me if i was hungry which i replied YES. he opened his bag & hands me a pack of crackers & i almost cry. my phone needed to be charged & wilderson had a charger for me so we were able to charge the phone. i sat there with all the kids just thinking what an incredible day it was. alix bought all those cokes but if he didn't we wouldn't have had anything to drink all day. we had no idea our flight would be delayed again. we had no money. the kids literally provided us with everything we needed. what seemed like a really bothersome thing to happen with the flights was the best day for us. we gave a little lesson about how we had nothing & the kids were able to provide us with everything we needed. such a beautiful lesson for all of us. by the time we are getting ready to leave this time they were all saying, no you can leave tomorrow. it was really sweet that they wanted us to stay again. we give our hugs & kisses again & tell them we can't wait to see them in a month.

one last goodbye, this time with no tears but smiles bc the day was so amazing. 

cory picked this hat out for wilderson for his birthday & he wouldn't take it off. 

we head to the airport just thinking about everything. we get to the airport & we are not on the air france list at all. laura & i are the only ones in this airport. we sit down on the airport floor with the same sweet lady that helped us this morning. laura was face timing with family & i called my mom & cory to give them updates. we sat there for a good while just talking & then the sweet lady tells us we are going to be on the morning flight with delta. she says we are going to put you at the servhotel & a driver will take you there & pick you up. we were like sweet. then she hands us a voucher for our next flight! WHAT. blessing. blessing. blessing. 

we find an atm to get some money so we can get some dinner. head to the hotel. walk into our rooms & were just like whatttttttttttt (said in alix's voice) comfy bed, hot shower. so excited. we took a hot shower & then head downstairs to have some dinner. we had the best time just thinking about the day & how amazing god is & his provisions. i am literally crying thinking about it. that pack of crackers meant so much to me & put things in a completely different perspective for me. God you are SO faithful & so true to your word. we slept so good, get up, check out & head to the airport. we get through the line & head to the security line which is insane. this random guy wanting to make a dollar comes to us & says hey i know the guy up there come with me. we skip everyone in line & laura gave him the goudes she had left which wasn't a lot & we were done with that line. we just looked at each other shaking our heads. GOD IS INCREDIBLE. he took care of us every single step of the way.

we were hungry by this point. 

such an amazing day!

from laura. 

My first trip to Haiti was anything short of amazing.  I felt God lead me on this trip and I felt him lead me through it.  I have known Evanda practically my whole life but haven’t spoken with her in some time.  With God’s guidance we reunion and she taught me so much.  As soon as I received his call to go I started my fundraising, lesson prep, packing and combating.  
The fundraising was something I could physically throw myself into to feel more productive towards this trip.  I had support coming out of the woodwork and that definitely lightened my load and made me feel like this was the right thing to do.  My church and family also contributed great amounts which I was extremely grateful.  Having that support also gave me an opportunity to have a sit down with several individuals that I knew would praying with me, building me up and helping to prepare me.  
But just as many as were supportive were the same to shed negative light on the mission and country.  I had to let that go in one ear and out the other.  Taking away only that they care enough for me to be concerned for my safety, all I could respond with was “God called me there. I will be in the right place at the right time.”
Then my plane landed in Haiti and the culture shock started.  Still never once was I scared just shocked really.  I had never been out of the country so riding down the road that doesn’t have rules or regulations with so many people, goats, dogs etc. on either side was some kind of first impression.  
Through the week there was a lot of work and a lot of playing to be done.  The kids were so sweet and so helpful.  There were several that just grabbed my heart from the first day and many more that it took several days for us to warm up to each other.  Each relationship was different.  Each playtime held something new for each of us.  All of us helpers also had preplanned lessons for each day.  Just in case you’re wondering those lessons were not just helping the children.  God knows what he is doing all the time.  Why am I so shocked by that when he reveals something new to me? 
Because I’m human! The entire trip I used all that I had physically which isn’t a lot in comparison and I was filled with even more to continue to pour into those kids and into my life at home.  I gave my all too all those sweet babies just as if they were mine.  But I was never drained.  God recharged every part of me. 
The last night was so hard and so easy all at the same time.  The whole day we all had so much fun at the beach and came home to a wonderful lesson.  I would say time to call it a day.  Nope, God had more. As the lesson wrapped up there wasn’t a dry eye there and then the music started to play.  A song that had gotten my attention at the beginning of the week.  I didn’t know half the words, actually I only knew four of them, “Father I need you!” Well as that played I knew what called asked me to do.  He told me to SERVE.  I thought I had been serving all week.  Oh no, not even close.  
I went and grabbed a bucket of water from the well and as the kids all sat outside I knelt down and washed each of their feet.  Saying a prayer that was not my own.  Asking for guidance in their path, protection for their minds and joy for their hearts.  Each foot I washed I did as if it were God’s own foot in my hands.  When I was finished I was a sobbing mess but my heart was so full I thought I would explode.  All my tears were tears of joy for sure. I didn’t even want to go to bed that night but 4:30 am departure was going to come soon enough.
We did more hugs in the morning before we headed to the airport.  It wasn’t bye forever it was definitely see you again.  At the airport we were still so over whelmed with happiness.  So much so that when we received word our flight had been delayed several times we just couldn’t help but go back to spend that time with the kids.  Alix, one amazing new friend from Haiti, came to meet us and ride back with us.  Little did he know that he had just provided our transportation and drinks for the rest of the day. Oh my Lord, the joy on the kids faces when we pulled up and they spotted us.  They were so confused and happy and cute praying that our flight would be delayed again.  Well folks, God is listening to those kids in Haiti.  We left and drove 5 minutes before we found out our flight had in fact been delayed again.  Back to the kiddos we go.  
Round 2 was even funnier.  All the hugs paired with “thank you Jesus” or “praise Jesus he heard us”.  These kids had faith and they were rewarded.  It was such a beautiful thing to watch but even better to experience myself.  The kids shared some snacks with us and even put me down for a nap.  They were taking care of us in ways we really needed.  
We left again and came again once more before our real departure back to the airport.  So all day we had been very well provided by God.  We had nothing and he provided it all.  Oh what a sweet end to my wonderful life changing experience.  Wait,Wait,Wait, I forgot to mention we arrived at the airport only to find out they had over booked the plane and instead we would be spending one more night in Haiti.  
Courtesy of Delta we stayed in one of the nicest hotels, had the best hot shower, yummiest meal and biggest fluffiest bed.  I felt like a kid in a candy store. We woke up the next morning so refreshed and had the provided shuttle return us to the airport.  God didn’t end there, you see he up graded us to sky priority and so we were the head of every line.  Getting through the airport has never been easier for me.  Every way I turned I saw another blessing and just could not contain my excitement and gratitude.  
My trip was amazing all ready but God wasn’t finished yet.  For once I didn’t try to plan in out or complain when things got uncomfortable.  He was able to do his will and that’s what I pray over the rest of my life.  I want to keep my eyes on him, my faith in his plan and my feet on his path.  Lord lead me whenever you need me.  
In Jesus name….AMEN

-E & L