I am still processing most of my mission trip. I have been collecting scripture as I go along. The ones that are shared…the ones that popped in my head as I was on this trip ect. I have so much to share. I know I wasn’t really gone a long amount of time but it is so far from my American reality it really did feel longer than it was. Honest.
I think you all know how soft I am…..and I had to shut parts of myself off during the trip so I could keep going on. I imagine that is what the Haitian culture has been doing for quite some time. Otherwise you couldn’t bare to live there.
I think I will start off by sharing some facts and my schedule for the trip.
-Haiti speaks Frech Creole ( teh language barrier was kind of an issue)
-80% of Haiti is unemployed
– schooling is not free
-healthcare is not free
-most food is imported…a gallon of milk 12$
-The average income for a full days’ work 5$ a day……look at last fact…yeah. 5$ doesnt go far.
-sex trafficking and child slavery very common. ( remember that movie “Slumdog millionaire?” Yeah kids are treated that way)
-the most popular religions in Haiti are Voo-Doo, Nazarene ( we have 600 churches there) and a few more Christian denominations. Now Islam is making an impact there. There are a few more denominations……but these seem to be the prevelent ones.
-1/3 of kids go to school and some of those can only go part time
-Death is so normal it is taken lightly. When the earthquake happened they dug a big hole and threw all the bodies in and buried them that way. I visited a graveyard…and there were human bones on the surface of the ground.
– Gang violence everywhere
-Animals are not treated kindly there..in fact I saw one almost beat to death while she was crying the whole time. I was trying to yell to stop it and my screams were not heard. Hard for me to see and hear. ( i only saw one breed of dog there as well…which was kind of strange no matter which part of the island I was visiting)
-Drugs is not a huge problem there. People can’t afford to eat so drugs isn’t an option.
-Traffic is insane…no rules.
-Homosexuality also isn’t an issue there. If there is they just don’t talk about it it is not accepted in the culture. However men are really affectionate with eachother. They hold hands walking down the street. They touch eachother ect. They don’t have the stigma of a “manly” man like here in the USA. In my own opinion I would say it’s because they aren’t conditioned to Hollywood and all the media and whatnot that we get here. But I could be wrong.
There are several more facts that I will share as I go….but there is a great background so you get a rough idea.
We had a schedule but through the course of the trip you learn that in Haiti plans are not really a reality. You can make plans but nothing ever goes as planned. Those planner type people don’t do well in Haiti.
Here was our schedule…this is how it ended up. But I will share with you each day as we went along in each consecutive post.
Left Seattle on Nov 5th arrived in Haiti Nov 6th. Tuesday. We went to Nazarene compound and rested.
The compound I have to say is a beautiful place in Port Au Prince. 34 acres on a hill in a gated community. They run a seminary college there as well as the work and witness house. There are guards gates. There is also a place called Compassionate ministries ( within compound) which is like a salvation army type of system withing the Nazarene church. The compound was home. We called it home when we were away and it was comfortable. God lives there I am sure of it.
Nov 7th Left for Berget. 8 hour road trip-this is on the northern tip of the island…if we were to cross the ocean were were were we would be in Cuba. Just to have a reference of where we were. :) We were supposed to stay there until the 10th…ended up being trapped by a flooded river. Stayed until 11th….only got out by a miracle. I will share later.
Nov 12th- planned to go sight seeing and shopping. Due to some circumstances out of our control we ended up going to lunch in town and visiting an orphanage in Port Au Prince. Divine appointments there I can’t wait to share. This was my favorite part of the trip. Almost.:) Then we went back to compound and I worked with a group in the compassionate ministries area sorting food for relief efforts. we also went to a fancy dinner at the nicest restaurant in Haiti on this night.
Nov 13th - The group went to the Apparent project and shopping in some local markets. Their plans were also ruined and they could only go out for a few hours because of some shootings. I will share later. I was spent by this time. my mind needed to rest. While in town you have to be on high alert. It’s not as if I blend in …whitey that I am. I just couldn’t take any more. Going down the street people pat their bellies and starve. There are so many disturbing sites every where you turn and I am afraid I just couldn’t take it anymore. So I rested. I journaled and I read my bible. I needed to just rest. I made a few phone calls.
Nov 14th. My team decided to go to a beach. Again I stayed at the safe compound. As much as I think that I should be a part of it all..at this point we weren’t doing missionary work. We were wasting time because our other job was not safe for us to go on. so we had a lot of down time. I enjoyed being alone. resting my mind and thinking about my mission.
Nov 15th Made the journey home. Almost missed my flight a few on the trip did in fact miss. But I ran my tail off….and I got there in the right timing..Thanks be to God.
Nov 15th is also Carl’s 15th Birthday…so he greeted me first at the airport. I got to tell him Happy birthday on his day!
I have to say I bonded with several on my team. They were a great bunch of people and I learned a lot. We all have a story. We all have a love for God and now Haitian people. We have been through life altering experiences. Now we just need to decide how we are going to create a mission in our everyday lives. The Haitian people are resilient! I can’t wait to show some pics and share with you. I just want to say thank you for praying! The power of prayer is amazing!