We arrived at our final destination Sunday around 1:30 pm. Our destination is a city on the north side of the southern peninsula called Jeremie. The views we saw today were absolutely incredible. It’s another one of those, you’d have to see it with your own eyes, taste, and smell it with your own senses!
We found out a couple of weeks ago that our team was going to have to travel to New York City’s, JFK airport by bus in order to catch our flight! Our trip had been cancelled and rescheduled several times because of political unrest, so by the time thing had settled, we were very close to the actual date we wanted to leave before our air tickets were bought. That was fine, except Port au Prince is the only airport receiving international flights and there were no connects going through Miami because all the flights were full due to spring break! So, the only flight we could find was a direct flight from New York. That meant we had to take the 12 hour bus ride to NYC. So, we had chartered a tour bus and driver to drive us there. Sweet! Not so fast!!! On Thursday, before the bus left on Friday afternoon, we found out the motor had blown in the bus we were going to use! So, we frantically called Covenant Motors, Tom Daugherty and got ourselves connected to two large vans. The thing that changed the most was we had to drive ourselves to NYC.
We left Richmond at 4:30 pm on Friday! We arrived at NYC’s JFK at 4:30 AM Saturday AM, and caught our flight to Port au Prince. When we landed in Port au Prince, we caught our next vehicle to take the next leg of our trip to La Caye, which is about a 5-6 hour ride.
To our surprise, the vehicle that picked us up was not very big, with 14 of us and all our luggage and a lot of extra luggage with supplies, we strapped most of it on top of the van and piled in for the hair-raising journey.
Port au Prince is still devastated from the effects of the massive earthquake some 14 months ago. Our eye saw absolute poverty like we’d never seen in our lives. Millions of people living in tents, or a couple of pieces of metal held together with some rope! Unbelievable! I asked myself, Lord, how is it possible to even make a dent in such massive destruction? I believe God told me to make the dent, the size of it is up to him, I need to be faithful to make the dent and lead others to make their dent.
I wasn’t able to take any pictures in Port au Prince because my camera was buried and frankly, there wasn’t enough room! But in the nest few days, I hope to get some of the cell phone pics we took!
Haiti is as “third world” as it gets in our part of the world. Their entire Infrastructure could not handle the massive mess. Around 300,000 lives lost, building after building flattened! You can see some of the efforts to help in action, but the need is so overwhelming, they’re barely making a dent with the poverty level so desparate. It was moving beyond words. My heart breaks for the people of Haiti. Pray fervently for them. Make a dent when you can. You know, God is bigger! Even bigger than this mess! He longs to do mightier things there! I know it! His word IS TRUE! The need is great, but our God is greater! I spoke to a social worker on the plane ride there, and asked her if she were to give Americans advice on how to proceed, she wisely said, “check your connections out, make sure they’re legitimate, the corruption is rampant and there’s a good chance your support never gets there if your not sure where it’s going.” She continued, “Human trafficking is at epidemic levels, do your homework, give as much as you can to people you know and trust!” And I would add, pray fervently about how you give, if you don’t know who or what you’re giving to, you might as well dump more trash in the streets, that is likely where it’ll end up anyway!
Back to our travels! We arrived in La Caye, around 6 pm, and were supposed to meet up with a tap-tap, (essentially a humans version of a cattle truck-more pics coming), to take us on to our final destination. We ate dinner, and waited, and waited.....and waited. Finally, at around 10pm we found a way to stay in town, the restaurant we were eating at had a hotel attached to it, so we settled in and got some rest.
Early Sunday morning, I heard a tap-tap on our door to tell us our tap-tap had finally arrived and we were leaving in about an hour. We thought the ride would only take about 2 hours. About 4 hours later, we arrived in Jeremie.
The children at the orphanage here are incredible, and the need is so great! But, more about that tomorrow. You'll find several pictures on my FaceBook with a little commentary!