Today we set out from Miami, FL and headed to Port Au Prince, Haiti. We had heard stories, but had no idea what we would be experiencing. Our journey started on the plane into Haiti. On the plane ride into Haiti I was looking out the window, I was looking for the line of deforestation. I didn't see it, but I did see huge houses on the coast with personal piers and boats and a couple miles west the huge houses had turned into a city of tents, red ones, blue ones, white ones. When we arrived in Haiti, we walked off the plane and onto the runway. (This was a first for me) We took a bus to the airport and when we arrived we were greeted with a Haitian band! The airport (immigration, baggage claim, and all) are in one small non-air conditioned room...imagine that. We then found out that all 18 tote boxes of supplies were never put on the airplane in Miami, so we have to go back to the airport tomorrow to pick them up, Lord willing.
We took a very bumpy bus ride to Mission Lifeline and were greeted with love by some of the children who graciously carried our bags in and by some of the staff here. Spring is our missionary leader for the week and she is WONDERFUL! We got to unpack and eat a sandwich lunch. Spring debriefed us and gave us a schedule for the week. Then, Spring took us on an amazing tour of Mission Lifeline's campus and into the surrounding village. We took a walk up to Prayer Rock, where we will be having morning devotions and prayer time. A little bit farther up the mountain we came to a cross. Mission Lifeline has a huge concrete cross that is painted in glow-in-the-dark paint. It was put up before the earthquake and were able to help with humanitarian aid because the helicopters could only find the Mission Lifeline campus by the cross. The cross is at a peak and the view is BREATHTAKING! I could sit up there and worship God all day!
Mission Lifeline has a clinic, schoolwith 350 students that goes up to 10th grade (they add a grade every year), church, and they minister to schools and orphanages all over the country feeding 8,300 children every day. They are starting a concrete block trade school for the men to learn how to make concrete blocks to sell and do construction on the Mission Lifeline property. They are also starting a welding trade school, a sewing trade school, a nursing trade school, and they do teacher training and enrichment for their school staff. The children are sponsered to go to the school and people can send money to sponser the building of houses for people. Mission Lifeline is run completely on donations and they minister to SO many people! God is definitely using this ministry to do AMAZING things in Haiti and in this village.
Spring took us into the village and we got to see the "houses" these Haitian people lived in. They were mostly simple concrete, one room houses where a family would live, no matter how big or small the family is. Some houses had palm branch weaved walls and roofs. The children in the village LOVE us. They wouldn't let go of our hands and followed us everywhere. They wanted us to take their picture and wanted to use our camera to take our pictures. They loved to play with us and hug on us. They are precious children! All the people we met were so happy and kind and let us into their homes.
We had to say goodbye to the kids for today, but we will probably see them again tomorrow. A couple of us challenged some of the older boys to a game of dominos, they won. We were fed a wonderful Haitian/American dinner of grilled, marinated chicken, black beans and rice, corn, green beans, Haitian bread, peaches, and salad. It was great food!
Because most of us got up before the sun this morning, we are all exhausted beyond believe and will sleep well tonight, permitting the roosters don't crow until sun up. We can only hope...
Enjoy some pictures from our first day in Haiti and continue to pray for us this week as we strive to stay healthy and minister to these people by serving them and bringing them God's Word.
Thank you and God bless!
Blog Written By: Patricia Gadomski
Photo Credit: Katrina Graham