(Lance & Sam’s entries start from the beginning of the mission trip)
Lance, Day 1: Today’s events in my life were very interesting and will be remembered for a lifetime. It started out waking up in the Days Inn in Fort Lauderdale FL. The day before, I was picked up from a school trip in Jekyll Island and driven 6-1/2 hours to our destination. After eating a not so good breakfast, I checked my bags and we were off to the airport. In the airport, we went through security and checked our passports. After getting through security, we found our gate and I ate a pepperoni stromboli. Soon after I finished eating, it was time to board the plane. The flight attendant checked our tickets and we were soon taking off to Port Au Prince. We got off the plane and went through customs to get our passports stamped. Soon we met Bro. Chuck Martindale to retrieve our luggage. Then the fun part came – riding in “Gabriel,” the army truck that took us through Port Au Prince, up the treacherous, angled mountains, and then eventually to our destination where the mission house is located. When we got to the mission house, I unpacked and ate a hearty dinner of spaghetti and meat sauce. Soon after dinner was finished, I went outside with a soccer ball and played with the native kids games with balls that I have never played. We then had to go inside and call it night. All in all, my first day was encouraging and I’m ready for tomorrow!
Samantha, Day 1: Of course, waking up to go to school Friday morning was not the exciting part of my day. I practically dragged myself out of bed to prepare myself for the day to come. When I was called down to get signed out, Risher, of course was flipping out and wishing me a wonderful and safe trip. After that I was picked up by the Leopards, and we went to the church to meet up with the rest of the group. Then the journey began; we took a long, long, long ride from SC to FL! Finally reaching our destination, we spent the night at a Days Inn. The next morning we got up and went to the airport. Everything went smoothly, except we had to get Mrs. Kat medicine for pink eye. The flight was good, and we got out of there fine. We loaded up Gabriel – the Vietnam army truck thing – and set off through Port au Prince. This is where I really began to see how impoverished this country is. The buildings are piled together, people sell whatever they can, broken bottles in cement are used as barbed wire, the streets are trashy, and the water gutters are filthy. AND THE DRIVING IS INSANE! As in the joke, “There’re no rules” – there are no rules in Haitian driving. We finally got out of the city and drove around the mountain to reach our destination. The Haitian people and children were excited to see us, and I was excited to see them. After a wonderful spaghetti dinner, I took a soccer ball outside and played with the children, which was interesting trying to play in a long dress. After that I played hand games with them; I wasn’t very good at them, but it was fun. Now after the devotion I’m going to bed. So goodnight world, and may the world see Jesus through me.
After a good night of rest for some of us – and not so good for others, because of the strange sounds outside the mission house that start about midnight–roosters crowing, donkeys braying, dogs barking, etc. – we awoke to a beautiful day in Z’Orange. After an American breakfast of coffee, cereal, pop tarts, oatmeal and a touch of Haitian fresh mango, Lane led the group in the morning devotion. When devotion was finished we had a little time to talk and get ready for church. There was a good crowd there, and the Haitian people sang, praising the Lord. Pastor Philip preached on Jesus being the Way, the Truth & the Light. Service ended a little after 12:00. Of course, no Haitian really knows the time because the majority of them don’t have watches – an American pastor’s dream . . .
When church was finished we had lunch, and now some are resting and some are taking a walkabout. We will have church again this evening, and then tomorrow the Pastors Conference and VBS with the kids will begin. It is going to be a wonderful week with the Lord!