Saturday, March 21

Haiti Day 1

I am spending the day resting up, and I even got to use a gift certificate I had for a massage from Mrs. Fontenot! I am definitely still adjusting to being back, and imagine it will take several weeks to truly process all that I experienced, good and bad. As much as I would love to grab coffee for a few hours with each of you and spill my guts about the trip, I realize that it isn't exactly possible. Therefore, I am going to use this blog to share as much as I can. I tried to journal a little bit everyday while I was there, so I am going to give sort of a day-by-day recap with some stuff I wrote that day, and things I have thought about since then. I forgot my camera so I have to give credit to others on the trip for most of the pictures I will share. The iphone did provide some decent pictures too. It is sort of ironic that I forgot my camera, because I have very mixed emotions about photography when I'm on these trips. I love photography and always have, but for me there is a fuzzy line between white man walking around exploiting people's devastated lives, and wanting to capture all the beauty there is in life and sharing with those who can't see for themselves. But that's for another day....moving on to the what you really want to hear....

Day 1

We left Austin at 5:30 a.m. and got to Port-Au-Prince, the capitol of Haiti, around 3:30 p.m.

Here are some thoughts I had while traveling:

- I hate the word rubbish. The stuardist on one of my flights walked up in down the aisle asking if anyone had any rubbish. Good thing I don't live in England.

- Why do Airlines feel the need to simulate Arctic breezes to blow through the cabin? Good thing I brought an extra pair of socks in my pack.

-There is no longer a need to mention "compact disc players" when instructing passengers to turn off all electronic devices such as.... It's 2009 people

- I never want to be on a mission trip where the entire group has to wear matching t-shirts while traveling. Ok, that's mean, but seriously, not a fan of the matching t-shirts.

- Miami is an entire country in itself. How did it get voted "Best Airport of 2008"??? I think I'll be okay if I never have to venture outside of it's doors.

Tanya, Carra, Julie, Aarron and I on the plane

Here we are with all of our luggage!

Troy and Tara Livesay picked us up from the airport and drove us to the Methodist Guest House where we stayed during our time in the city. The Livesays are an awesome family from Minnesota who moved with their 7 kids to Haiti 3 years ago. They are friends of Aaron and Jamie Ivey (who led our trip) and were a joy to be around. They took very good care of us, and drove us all around in the lovely PAP traffic. Check out their blog to see what they are doing in to change lives in Haiti.

We stayed at the Methodist Guest House which is pretty much a hostel for Missionaries. The accommodations were great, I would definitely stay there again. The first night we got there, I found this old worn book entitled God is no Stranger. It is a beautiful collection of Haitian prayers and photography. Little did I know, I would meet one of the authors, who is pretty much Haiti missionary royalty, a few days later. I copied down things I loved from the book. Here are random excerpts.

Haiti is a land of contrasts, beauty and poverty live side by side. The greatest contrast is spiritual, the one between the life a born again Haitian Christian, freed from guilt and the power of Satan, who finds love and joy in Christ, and the life of a Haitian bound by the slavery of Voodoo. Voodooism, the people's religion in Haiti, originated in Africa. It is a form of ancestor worship in which witch doctors use weird fetishes and ceremonies to keep the people in constant fear of attack by the dead and evil spirits because of imagines slight or neglect.

The child-like faith of the mountain people is a beautiful paradox. The prayers of the Haitian Christian are simple and direct, and reflect the genuineness that is refreshing and heartwarming. As Christ commanded, they enter His Kingdom as little children. Their faith is as deep as the ocean surrounding their land and as high as the mountains on which they live. For as you read the prayers of the Haitian people, we hope that you too will see this beautiful light, understand the paradox, and realize that God is no stranger.

Here are a few of the beautiful prayers, and I will continue to share more with each update.

They say we are the poorest country
in the world.
Thank you, Father.
May we also be poor in spirit,
That we may inherit the Kingdom of God.

Lord, If we are here today
in spite of hurricanes, hunger and sickness,
we should say
"Thank you Lord.
We must be here for a purpose"

Lord, I want to pray like that.