Oh how I wish I could stay another day and play with my new friends. But for whatever reason I feel I must get back to the place where I want to be the least. God knows and He has answered a prayer. Harry has to get back anyway. So we have another travel day. Over the mountain in reverse. From rags to riches to riches to rags. All is good though. It’s all familiar territory and feelings. Not much will happen today except having to deal with the hustle and bustle of crowded dangerous Port Laogane “bus depot”. Roney awaits us to take us to safe haven. All the way over the mountain all I could think about was the few hours of water time I had with the kids. I do feel like I accomplished a lot with Harry but as I said, time will tell. Once I got back to the guest house Sem had set up his TV so I could watch some real football. This is another first. I was able to watch what ESPN had to offer and keep up with the scores. This was another first for me in Haiti. He told me your part of our family we want you to be happy. He did not know how happy I already was having spent precious water time with the coconut grove crew. Lila prepared grilled fish with veggies. How much more of this can I stand ? Fish on the grill, football, wow this has been an unexpected time down here. To those who are close to the happenings down here will say I deserve it. But I know deep inside that I deserve nothing. I guess this is Hebrews 6:10 at it’s finest. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Today went much as planned. A whole lot of discussion left over from the previous night. I can not say for sure if any of this truly reaches home. I guess time will tell. The most difficult part of mission work in a place like Haiti is the cultural part of it. “Thats Haiti” is not acceptable to me. Christians are new creatures and should be able to be the example to the cultural tendencies. Although we here in America are bad examples of this ourselves. Thank God for His grace and mercy. I was beginning to feel like an old record where the needle hits a scratch and your stuck on the same half word until you get up and move the needle over so you can carry on with the song. It was time for a break so we took a taptap ten miles or so down the beach to see if we could find my new surf bros. We sat at the spot and waited. Before long they were coming out of the coconut grove with boards in hand. This experience for me has been a long time coming. Going on my eighth year and here it is, a secret answered prayer. We spent the late afternoon with the boys in the water and what a revival to my soul this was. I can only hope and pray that this is the first of many times that God will allow me to share His love on a common ground in a very strange country. Even Harry got in the water but he would not let me take a picture, not sure why, I guess “that’s Haiti”. When we got back to the guest house I was like a kid on Christmas morning. Funny how God works. I’m glad He works this way. We had supper and I went to bed early. I did not want anything to have an opportunity to mess this day up. It was a great day and tomorrow I have to leave again for the rat race of the city. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
I’ve said this in the past, ” Haiti has many faces”. Today will be a day where one goes from absolute chaos to serene. I left Sem’s guest house around 7:30 to go deep in Port au Prince to a place called Port Laogane. This is where Harry and I will have to catch a small bus to go over the mountain to the Jacmel area. The place where all the vehicles are is a verrrry sketchy place. You cannot go there to early or to late at night. Good people do not hang out there all the more reason why we need to get a vehicle down here ASAP. The bus place is a necessary evil until this happens. I will be able to avoid these places and have more freedom to move about safely when we have our own transportation. Harry and I are going to Jacmel to get away from his busy schedule at the church and school. We have many things to discuss about GMSM and our future in Haiti. Jacmel is a nice place on the coast, it’s cheaper to stay here and I can take Harrys phone away from him so we can have quality time for our discussions. Besides that I’d rather have these discussions at a nice place by the water than on the loud, dusty streets in Tabarre. We have good connections now in Jacmel and it is virtually hassle free. Going from Port to Jacmel is like going from total chaos to total peace.
Like always Jackson our taptap driver was there to intercept us from the drop off point and take is to the guest house in Cydavier. As always he takes me for a ride down the coast to look at the beautiful remote beaches. I saw several kids in the water surfing on boards left by an American. He stole my dream. We stopped and chatted with the young boys and watched them surf on the small but very playful waves. It was getting late in the day and the boys asked if I could join them tomorrow. I was stoked at the invitation and said “of course, what time”. They told me to come in the afternoon when they got out of school. We went to the guest house, got settled in and spent the rest of the night talking about GMSM, our vision, Harrys vision, accountability, stewardship and many other things. Tomorrow will be more of the same until I go to meet the young surfers. I have a headache now. I have to really be on my game when I have these kinds of conversations with Harry. I have to keep him focused. That’s why this is a good place for this. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Today was one of those days that to many words would only make a mess out of it. I’ll try to keep or brief and to the point haha. It was great getting to the school to see the students and greet the teachers. The doors and windows for the school are coming along nicely but the construction has forced the classes outside until the work is complete. That should be by Friday, it is 90% finished. At last the school will be safe. I met with the teachers briefly and then started putting the gift bags together with the help of Pastor Harry, Myrva, Rossna and Adoni. It was a work in progress for about 3 hours but it was fun. The gifts consisted of dental hygiene packages, soap, wash cloths,scripture bracelets, whistles and candy. The dental stuff was supplied by DDS Brodie Bowman and DDS Scott Runnels. I’m sure they appreciate the candy part, we supplied that. Once the bags were done Harry and I headed into Port to go visit an orphanage called “Coats Little Angels”. There is a lot of history behind this place, not all good. Harry and I ran across this place a few weeks after the earthquake and we do what we can for this place. FBCFWB supports this place through GMSM. We always include them in our Christmas campaign. This is a unique place in the fact that many of the children are in their teens and some in their early twenties. The only family they have are themselves and they have no place to go. They all go to school and some are trying to enter college. Money is the issue like always. It’s a heart breaking place to visit but a reality that exists. I wish we could do more and maybe one day we can. It’s a good place to help for anyone who wants to make a difference. We can make them smile for one day anyway. We sponsored a Christmas party for them as we did for the school and church. It will be a fun loud Christmas (with the whistles) for these three spots in Haiti. Tomorrow I head south to Jacmel.
It’s been way to long since we’ve been back here. Not by choice but by lack of funds. Frequent flyer miles kept us down here for about a year and a half so we are back footing the bill. It is so important to be here nourishing our relationships. Anyone who reads this blog can share with the world that we need frequent flyer miles to help us move forward. As I left Miami I truly felt a little lost. To pick up pieces of Haiti can be hard and I knew I had a tough task ahead. Not to sound so cliche but I know Gods got a plan. The moment we reached the Haitian landscape by air an unbelievable peace came over me and a sense of direction seemed to fill my eyes and mind. As always the faithful Harry was there along with Cherie to scoop me up from the total chaos of the airport madness and rush me to the waiting vehicle driven from my good friend Sem. What a blessing it is to be dialed in with these guys. On to the guest house for some killer grub and rest.
Wow! I’m not sure I slept much last night because there was work outside my window all night long. I once got up and through hand gestures ask the worker dudes to turn down their version of music. Me wanting the music turned down, now that’s strange. Of course if it was Jimi Hendrix it would have been no bother but that stuff had to go. They obliged with a smile and attempted to get the boom box to obey. Good try, oh well. Nothing coffee, eggs and spam can’t cure. To say that this wound up being a strange day in Haiti is like saying the suns always out here. It’s always out and it’s always strange here. As I made my way to the coffee I met this gentleman in his late seventies and he asked me to join him for breakfast. He is from Canada. As we talked I could tell he really needed to chat with someone about Haiti in general. I shared with him about some of my adventures down here and as he began to talk I could tell he had been beat up by this place. Which is something I can totally relate to. It always ain’t Haitians but gringos are pretty good at beating you up to. But this guy had been taken advantage of by some locals and he was totally ready to throw in the towel. We talked for about three hours and I was glad I was there for him to share with me. He was leaving today and I found him to be a very interesting man. Strange how you come to a place for getting Christmas gifts ready for 200 kids and God totally derails your plans. Needless to say I got a very late start to do Christmas shopping. We went to the Tabarre market which is an outside market that looks more like a roller derby on steroids. We do have a connection in this very confusing market place who helped us gather our supplies to finish out our gifts. I only know her as the market lady. This place is very amusing and dangerous. Once again we are fortunate to have built a relationship here to help us avoid the danger. I never made it to the school because of my encounter with the Canadian. No pics today due to the fact that folks in the market place just don’t dig it and I didn’t need the hassle. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.