Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Harnell/ Kench '17- Day 1-2
Day One Travel day left all of us exhausted and culture shocked. Our travels began at midnight in freezing weather and icy roads. All of us had stressed for days prior about flight times and busy traffic. Funny enough, we were so early that we arrived to an empty airport—-a sight unknown to the Kench family as we are accustomed to using up every single second you give us. That was the first sign that we were in God’s hands; we arrived safely and with ample time to prep and rest. Second blessing? All of our flights (well, except for Haley and Mike’s) stayed true to schedule and got us to our destinations safely. On our flight to Detroit, a stewardess thanked us for offering our time to go on this trip and applauded us for following God’s call for us. During our layover in Atlanta God introduced us to such beautiful souls. One lady in particular stood out to us. She was also heading to Haiti for a missionary trip, a trip she takes twice a year. She told us that mission work is something we are called to do and reassured us all that we are exactly where God needs us——third blessing. We finally landed in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti around three in the afternoon. While waiting in line at immigrations, we all laughed at watching our luggage being dropped accidentally off of the trolly outside. Thankfully they were recovered because they were our snacks bags and we had only had five meals by that time, if that says anything about how much we eat. Once we exited the airport it was a wave of emotions. People were everywhere you turned offering to help you, offers we unfortunately had to turn down. Once we were all in the tap-tap we realized what traffic in Haiti is really like. Imagine teaching a teenager how to drive and then give them a cell phone to distract them, then blindfold them, and then take away all stop signs. Long story short, it was the most exciting car ride we have ever experienced. The guest house was far more than we ever imagined. The staff had already prepared dinner for us and dogs greeted us as soon as we set our bags down. Unfortunately, we were all so tired that we did not get much of an opportunity to truly take it all in. In fact, we were all so lame that Michelle was snoring by eight o’clock. Day Two We woke up at 7:00 to the heavenly smell of pancakes, a far cry from the airport food we had inhaled just 24 hours earlier. Around 10:00 we headed out to Cite Soleil to deliver water. At this point Jessie got a little nervous because Max had told her the drive was four hours (it was really a 20 minute ride, tops). As soon as we parked, the utter juxtaposition of the environment was breathtaking. Amongst piles of trash were the most beautiful smiles and hearts you could ever imagine. Not a single person looked at us as if we were unwanted. Actually, kids clung on to us and offered to help us before we could even step foot on the ground. That was one thing that truly stuck out to us: here we are to help these people and the minute they saw we were dirty they were pouring their own water over our hands and feet to keep us clean. At the first stop we were able to tour Hope Church. For McKennah, McKenzie, and Brian this was shocking because two years ago it was still a makeshift landfill and had the beginnings of the structure being built. The church is absolutely amazing and a breath of life and hope into the community. This church is not only a place of worship but also a school. It offers the students a comfortable place to stay during the day as well as meals to eat. At the water truck we put Brian in charge of manning the hose which proved itself to be quite the task. The kids were beyond excited to see us and loved getting hugs and doing our hair. Words can not even describe the pure joy on their faces. The kids were eager to teach us games and sing songs about Jesus. Our physical strength was truly tested today as we struggled to carry buckets while also carrying three children in our arms. We joked about doing pull-ups on the way home every time someone honked but we could barely keep our eyes open at that point. We would not have wanted it any other way though. The beauty of water truck days are that the water is completely free for the people. For 3,000 gallons of water it costs Healing Haiti $5. At the end of the day we had poured out 9,000 gallons of water into 5-gallon buckets that were carried away by young children’s heads. It was incredible to be able to be a blessing in that form today. We all saw Jesus today in those people’s eyes and that is something you just can not put to words.