Sunday, October 18, 2009

Beth’s First Haiti Trip

Ok, people, so I did it! I took the plunge and went to Haiti with Jon in March. This was kind of big for me for a couple of reasons – not the smallest of which was leaving Caroline for several nights for the first time, plus a substantial fear of flying that has developed since I had Caroline. Thank you to all of you who had been praying for us…we had a really great trip…I definitely enjoyed seeing firsthand the people that Jonathan is working to help every day.
We met with so many ministries, I am left wanting to describe them all to you. Instead I will just sum up my overall impression of the country and the people we met there. There are a lot of problems facing Haiti. And I mean, a lot. The issues the country faces are deep rooted in a socio-political climate that does not have an easy fix. BUT…there are people that hold out hope for the future of Haiti. These people are affecting change within their own country. They are working to restore lives and build for tomorrow!!! We are so fortunate to get to spend time with these ‘movers and shakers’. Here are a few highlights…
We were able to have dinner with some staff from Compassion, along with three young adults who have come through the child sponsorship program. One young man who grew up in one of Port au Prince’s most dangerous slums is now studying business at a local university. The young lady in the group is almost done with her schooling to become a nurse. The last young man is an OBGyn in his residency year – these doctors are so in need that this young man already has experience performing twelve to fourteen c-sections a night! They were such a testament to the work of this organization. Here we are with this amazing group of young people.

Here we are with the wonderful staff and community advisors for the WorldVision Acodet project. This group serves hundreds of children in a rural area. They happily showed us some of the amazing things that are happening at their project…such as the integration of a few computers for the children, and a self-sustaining farm that is run by community members who also benefit from the crops and livestock being cultivated there.

By far the coolest thing that we got to do on this trip was visit the child that we sponsor at the Acodet project. Estevenson is the coolest kid! He is fourteen, and a little shy. We got to talk for about thirty minutes. He wanted to know a lot about us…we kept asking him about his interests, etc., but he would turn it around on us and ask us to describe ourselves! He wants to be an engineer when he grows up, and travel all around the world. All in all, it was a moving experience to be welcomed by Estevenson’s family and community. They even chopped down two fresh coconuts for us to drink from. His mother told me, “I pray for you every day.” How humbling is that?

Jonathan and Estevenson…now good friends!

Jon showed Estevenson pictures of Caroline on his iphone.

Drinking the coconut juice with our translator, Paul (who was awesome btw)

We also visited the Belloc community where our friend is trying to get a school and feeding program started. I wanted to be sure and include this photo of us with some of the children at Belloc, since some of you will be helping fund this project soon. These kids are precious! If you are interested in getting them in school and we haven’t talked to you about it yet…let us know by all means! We will hook you up…

As is customary in Haiti : ) , we did get a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. Between Jonathan and our fantastic driver, we were back on the road before dusk!

And last, and definitely least, is me preparing for what I deemed, ‘the flight of doom’. Our pilot was fantastic and joked with me the whole way; plus I had a wonderful Haitian lady riding beside me (a World Vision disaster relief coordinator)….she talked me through the whole thing.…but I was sooooo happy to get my feet back on the ground! An even crazier thought is that Jonathan flew the plane for about 10 minutes! The World Vision folks kindly kept that information from me until we were landed : )

Well, with all the excitement of the trip, we were exhausted and certainly glad to get home to Caroline, but we wouldn’t trade the experience…it was definitely eye-opening. Of course Jon had seen Haiti many times before, but to see it together…and to meet Estevenson…those are two blessings we never dreamed would happen so soon!


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