Our entire group arrived at the airport before 3:15 am. We all knew this was a good sign. Even though we all have different paths of faith, are different ages, from different cities and attend different churches, we began our sense of community early. The team bonded over a need for coffee and bagels, and the lack of sleep we all got the night before. We laughed about a broken zipper on a checked bag that required embarrassing amounts of scotch packing tape. Everyone set an expectation for the trip and upon our arrival, we were asked to throw them out the door. The flights were uneventful, other than a pretty abrupt landing in Haiti and we made it to our guest house early.
After sorting donations and cleaning up a few products that exploded in flight, we settled into our rooms and then went to meet the neighborhood boys. Everyone was so surprised how many of the boys and workers remembered those who were returning to Haiti. It was really touching to see firsthand how big of an impact others in our group have already made on this country. After introductions, we started a sweaty and dusty game of pick up soccer. It took a while to figure out who was on what team, but eventually we got the hang of it and even scored a few goals on the neighborhood boys.
After soccer, we enjoyed a community-style dinner of shepard’s pie and some of the best Coca-Cola many of us had every had. All of our food scraps were put onto a plate for the guard dogs and the whole group pitched in to clean up the kitchen. We had heard the food here was great, and those rumors were right! We watched the sunset, learned the house rules and then gathered for an evening devotional.
After setting all expectations aside, we shared unique facts about ourselves and picked a word of the day. The overall theme was everyone wanted to have an open mind and open heart to the people of Haiti, the people in our group and ways that God will work in our lives this week. We shared about vulnerability, comfort, love and leadership. Everyone is excited to be here and looking forward to a week guided by God’s love. From mostly strangers to a group ready to be guided by His plan, everyone is feeling unified and grateful for the unique reasons we are here.
With love, thank you for reading about our first day and being a part of our journey.