Monday, April 30, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Well we left Port-au-Prince yesterday the 19th of March nice and early in the morning. We all were sad to leave the new friends that were made but on the other hand we were looking forward to seeing friends and family back home and sharing our many stories that had added up throughout the week. The flight from Haiti to Florida was nice, customs wasn't that bad. The flight from Florida to Texas wasn't that bad either. But then...things got ugly. As we were shuttling from one terminal to the next it was obvious that there was a mean storm ah brewing outside. We assumed it would blow over before our flight and all would be good but that was not the case. Our flight was delayed time after time, and our confidence dwindled and eventually hit rock bottom. The flight ended up getting canceled and we had to go back to the main ticket desk and get new boarding passes. We didn't know what was going to happen but after circling up and saying a prayer our nerves calmed. We called the airline 1-800 number and got great news!! Our party had already been rebooked but not until the following day at 8pm. So as you have probably figured, we have been camping out at gate D6. Time has been spent laughing, playing cards, and taking turns trying to get some shut-eye on the complimentary cots. T-minus five hours till we board. Arriving at LEX has never sounded so good!!
-Bryce Toole & Maria Cranor
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Before this trip I noticed that I would be spending my twenty-sixth birthday in Haiti but by mid week I had completely forgotten about it. I feel God was working in me, teaching me to be humble and to focus on why I was here in the first place. I came to Haiti not for a get away spring break vacation; I came to Haiti to share God’s love and a smile.
Today was a rewarding day of rest. The team and I woke early and after a belly full of biscuits and gravy we were off to the top of the mountain to a breath taking overlook. After the fifteen-mile truck ride, which took two hours due to traffic, because that’s just how it is in Port-au-Prince, we pulled up to like I said a “breath taking overlook.” We enjoyed looking out over Port-au-Prince, pointing out buildings we recognized from afar and thanks to Michael for pointing out where we have been working and staying over the week here.
We packed up and were off to the Baptist Mission Organization compound. There we were able to check out their museum, walk along the street stopping by venders buying gifts and taking it all in, and to put the icing on the cake we were blessed to have yet another break taking overlook, this time for lunch.
The descent from the mountain was nice and relaxing (big thanks to Michael for being such a safe and relaxed driver today and throughout the entire week!!).
We arrived back to the O.M.S. house and enjoyed a dip in the pool while others enjoyed a much-needed nap (myself included).
Supper was and is always a great time of fellowship and story telling while enjoying Haiti’s many different native flavors. The full time missionaries, David and his wife Marylyn, were so thoughtful and arranged a cake and ice cream for my birthday. They sang happy birthday to me and fun was had by everyone. While thanking David I told him about my grandfather and how he served with O.M.S some time ago and sure enough David remembered him. David said that my grandfather was here David’s first time to Haiti and how nice of a man he was. Hearing that made my day and I know my grandparents are smiling in heaven knowing that their grandson is in Haiti.
- Bryce Toole
There are a few things that Haiti has taught me. First, is that no matter where you go in this world, Justin Bieber WILL find you- no matter what.
But the thing that Haiti has most taught me is that happiness is attainable in any situation. I’ve spent a lot of time in reflection this week, studying my new Haitian friends. And the overwhelming feeling I get from my new friends is the feeling of happiness. Pure happiness. From delighting over an empty bottle being a new toy, to having a new home after a devastating earthquake and all that is in between- my Haitian friends know how to be happy where they are. And it’s more than inspiring.
I think I can speak for the whole group when I say being here has been surreal. Even as I sit in Port Au Prince, Haiti I have a hard time grasping that God actually placed me here and allowed me to experience that happiness. But more so, I have a hard time grasping that God wanted to actually use me here.
Tonight in debriefing our overwhelming feeling was a feeling of humility. As we sat and reflected on what God accomplished through us this week, we found it so amazing that God desired to share the glory He received this week with us. We all sat for a moment in complete awe that God let us share in what He was doing in the lives of our new Haitian friends- and then we sat for another minute and reflected on how all of us have given a huge part of our hearts to Haiti and it’s beautiful people.
As we prepare in the next few days to leave this place we have called home for a miniscule week, there’s a bittersweet feeling among our group. There’s an overwhelming feeling of joy- but there’s also that twinge of sorrow. Sorrow for having to leave this beautiful place- but joy that it has changed us.
There is still much to be done in Haiti. But I know for myself that there is so much comfort in God’s words to the Apostle John in the book of Revelation. Revelation 21:5 says, “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then He said, “Write these things down, for these words are trustworthy and true”
My prayer for my group is that we would allow God to continue to make everything new in our lives as He has done this week. And I pray that God would constantly make Haiti and her precious people new in Him.
I ask that as fervently as I know you all have been praying for this team and this country, that you would continue to lift this place and these people up for God’s glory.
Always In Christ,
Ashlee for the group