I just wanted to write a quick recap of our last day, even though I am sure an update went out to everyone saying that we made it home safely!!
The morning started EARLY Tuesday morning at 1:30 a.m. when our whole team felt another 4.7 aftershock. We had experienced an aftershock of the same magnitude the previous night, but this time the epicenter of the quake was closer so we all woke up. It was quite a memory! Pastor Moise, a Haitian man who is the GO Project director on the field, and his family have been sleeping in a tent at the orphanage since the quake because they still are not comfortable sleeping inside a building. (Visit the GO Project blog to read more about their story, they lost a son in the quake). When the aftershock happened, Patti, one of our team members went outside to get a view of what it looked like and she said she saw Pastor Moise bust out of his tent with a look of terror on his face and told her to quickly get everyone out of the building. She went running, room to room, getting us to all come outside and out from the building. I think we all experience a moment of fear, making us all consider what it must have truly felt like to be there when the real earthquake hit. It made us relate to those kids and those people just a little bit more.
Per Pastor Moise’s request, we pulled out a tent from the supply room and the guys started working on putting it together. All of the women piled into tents and a few of the guys pulled out mattresses and slept outside under the stars. We only slept for about 2 hours before we had to get up and get ready to leave. So we’ve were technically up since 1:30 with just a tiny nap here and there. Phew!
We headed to the Port-au-Prince airport at 5:30 a.m. to catch our 8:30 flight. This airport had just reopened on Friday. It was a zoo! First we stood in a line for over 30 minutes, only to find out we should go to the VIP line. So we walked to a different part of the airport and stood there to get through security for another half hour, went through security and waited quite a while just to be told we weren’t in the right place to get our tickets..so we had to take a little bus all the way to a different building to get tickets. We had to check just about every single bag we had, large or small, because of the size of our plane. We even had to get weighed and have our weight shouted out across the room for the clerk to hear! haha! Then we took the bus BACK to the tarmac where we waited for quite a while again. The 8:30 a.m. flight ended up leaving around 9 a.m. I think. (Thats what we like to call Haitian “ish” time…they always do things around 8:30-ish, 9:00-ish time). That plane was TINY and was a pretty bumpy flight. We made it to the Dominican Republic after only about 40 minutes. It is crazy how different the D.R. is…it’s a stark contrast to Haiti. Even the landscape is noticeably different from the sky..from just the Haitian dirt and malnourished land to the lush, beautiful palm-tree-filled lands of the D.R. The airport was beautiful and so unlike the Haitian airport.
Once in the D.R. we all grabbed a drink (praise the Lord for Coke Light!) and got on a bus to head to another D.R. airport. Thats when we heard that there were a massive amount of cancellations and delays from Dallas because of snow..so then we began the process of trying to figure out if we needed to reroute our flights or not. What a headache! We went through customs smoothly and got on a flight headed to Miami. In Miami, we got through US customs smoothly and we grabbed a fast lunch before boarding for Dallas. All of our layovers were originally a good amount of time between flights, but because of the late start and inclement weather, we were nearly racing to our next gate at each stop. I made the comment yesterday, “Ive prayed and praised God more today in the airport just trying to get home than I do on an average day. That shouldn’t be the case.” We totally had to rely on God to open up all connecting flights smoothly. We boarded for Dallas and once there, many of us had to get seats assigned because our tickets didn’t show seat numbers..even though we were fairly certain we had a spot on the plane. We thankfully got that done with no hassle, grabbed a quick dinner (by then, all of us were starving!), and boarded for Kansas City! The last leg of the flight was interesting…a crying baby and a yippy dog right behind me the whole way! But finally everything settled down and we peacefully made it back to KC!
I can’t tell you how good it was to see our family and friends after such a long day! We are all so glad to be back, yet we all left a part of us back in Haiti. Thank you again for your prayers and constant support through this whole journey. For some of us, it may take a while to fully open up and share what happened because there is just so much to process. For others, we’ll want to share everything all at once. It will take a while to process all that happened there and all that God did and is teaching us through this trip. It was life-changing, that is for sure. Continue to keep us in your prayers when you think about us..that our processing will be productive, that we will listen and be obedient to the Spirit’s promptings on our hearts, that we will come to understand all that God wants to do in and through us because of that trip.
Thank you, again, for being our prayer warriors. We wouldn’t be here today without you. Keep watching the church blog (www.pvtalkback.com) as I will be updating with a few more stories and pictures in the days to come.
I pray God blesses each of you for your partnership with our team.