Day One from the SVCC Healing Haiti Team!
September 11th, 2017
The first team consisting of myself (Garrett), Angela, Diana, Raven and Kiley showed up to church at 12:30pm to gather up donation luggage and pack the passenger van for our trip to the airport. Pastor Jed came by to help us out and to pray over us for the upcoming journey. Steve was willing to be of service and drove us to the airport. We arrived at the airport safely and Steve provided much laughter on the way there. Thank you Steve!
When we arrived in the American Airline terminal, we sort of expected some challenges and as we were doing the self check-in, our reservations were not working so we were instructed to go to the ticket counter. God is always faithful and the young woman who happened to book our group flights happened to be at the counter. At first there seemed like there were going to be some problems getting us all on the flight and Kiley said a prayer and immediately after the attendants told us we were good to go. Praise God! Getting through security and onto our flight went really smooth and we were on our way to LaGuardia Airport.
Our flight arrived at LaGuardia around 8pm. After we arrived in New York we needed to get the five of us with ten suitcases to JFK airport. We found a van service that was able to bring us to JFK. Upon arriving at JFK, we found that we weren't able to check our bags and needed to find an alternative way to store our bags since our flight didn't leave until 7:10am the next morning. We found a service that would store our bags until our check-in time (3am) and from there the five of us were headed to downtown NYC! We found a pretty cool taxi driver that would take the five of us (taxis in NYC can only transport four people at a time). We took about a forty minute journey to Central Park. We were all pretty excited to get out of the taxi since we were all squeezed in pretty tight. Central Park was a pretty cool experience that late at night. I remember thinking how incredibly quiet it is in the park with the busyness of NYC right next door. It was pretty cool to walk through and just enjoy the beautiful landscapes.
After Central Park, we headed over the Times Square. Kiley felt pretty excited when he found a cool NYC app that helped us around the city with ease. Kiley had us posing for pictures every fifteen minutes or so and we didn't really mind because we were all having a blast. We made it to Times Square and just did some sight seeing before walking around the rest of the city and just enjoying the atmosphere. Around 2am we called an Uber to get back to the airport and started checking in for our flight around 3am. We finally boarded our plane around 7am and got some of the first sleep any of us had in 24 hours.
We arrived in Haiti at 11am and got through customs pretty quickly and was greeted by our tap tap driver. The country is absolutely gorgeous and we were all happy that we finally made it here. We got settled into the compound and ended up going to the resort nearby and swimming at the pool. We came home and had dinner (homemade tacos!) before going to bed at about 8pm. The theme on everyone's heart the first day here was endurance. Everyone operated like a champion through the first 36 hours with very little or no sleep and God showed us how to operate within his strength instead of our own. Everyone is in good spirits and excited to jump in and start loving on the people here!
Blessings from day one! =)