HIS NAME IN HAITI: day two
We’re here! After eight months of praying and preparing, twenty-three of us and our giant red duffle bags filled with dresses and supplies arrived in Port-au-Prince early this morning. And we’re all positively giddy to be here.
A big blue bus met us at the airport along with the warm sunshine. Our luggage and two of the men rode on top, and as we bumped along the massive potholes on the city roads, we saw things we’ve never seen before. Rubble still piled along the streets, almost two years after the earthquake. Goats climbed on mounds of trash. Tent cities lined up with magnificent coastline on one side and lush mountain views on the other. Horns honked and we could reach out the windows and touch the passing trucks.
And yet, in the middle of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, right in the midst of the devastation, there was in incredible resilience in the faces of the people.
I expected to see sadness in the eyes of the Haitian people, but instead I found joy in many of their eyes. We waved to the children, and they waved back, smiles wide across their face. Most of the women were busy transporting baskets filled with bananas or barrels of water on their heads, but some smiled at us as well.
An earthquake devastated Haiti, and yet her people continue to live their lives. They are shining their shoes, shaving sugar cane to sell on the streets, and carrying clean water to their tent houses. Women are washing dishes and cooking food on the cracked sidewalks. Men are selling tires and furniture.
An hour or so later (we lost track of time), gates opened in front of us and we drove onto the property of Grace Village. Madam Jeune greeted us with hugs, praising Jesus for all He has done and will do this week.
Most of the Haitian women coming to the conference tomorrow have begun their journeys. They’ve been personally invited by Madam, and some will travel twelve hours by all sorts of modes of transportation. More than two hundred women from across denominations in Haiti will gather together to worship God and encourage each other. This is the first time Haitian women from different denominations have gathered together to fellowship.
Thank you for praying for our trip. God was clearly with us in every leg of the journey.
Thank you for sending dresses (hundreds of them!). As I write, ladies are sorting the clothing and putting together gift bags for the women. The Haitian pastor’s wives will distribute the dresses long after we’re gone.
And thank you, most of all, for praying for the women who are coming to the conference tomorrow, that they will be revived, renewed and encouraged by His many names before they return to love and care for the people in their communities.
This blog will be our only communication with friends and family at home during this week so please send as many messages and notes as you want as comments. Jodi Stilp, Allie Rice, and I will pass the notes on to the ladies (and four men) on our team.
Diane sends her love!
P.S. Note from Vicki to Steve—Remember that Coco gets two cans of dog food (and she loves you too!).