Sunday, July 11
This morning we awoke to the familiar noises of rural Haiti: roosters crowing, donkeys braying, the church bell ringing, a random saxophone whining in the distance, a Sunday School class reciting Bible verses, children giggling in the yard, the sizzle of eggs frying in the pan and even the scratching of mice. After a grueling day of travel with many hours of waiting in airports and on buses in between, we are finally here.
Our trip from Fresno to Los Angeles to Miami to Port Au Prince was thankfully uneventful. When we arrived in Port Au Prince, Pastor Peter met us and drove and our 23 bags plus carry-ons (minus one lost en route) to the smaller airport. We waited almost five hours in the small airport for our flight to our final destination - Pignon. We were blessed by fellowship with many other missionary teams also preparing to travel to remote parts of the country to serve the people. We felt a strange brotherhood with them.
The highlight of our travels was the airplane ride from the capital city of Port-Au-Prince to the rural town of Pignon. After hours of waiting in the heat, we boarded a 12-seater plane – complete with a Dominican pilot and co-pilot and two seats per row. Those in the group, including myself, who get motion sickness or who dislike flying, were nervous to say the least.
Honestly, I can say this was the most memorable airplane flight I have taken inland to Pignon. I was seated behind the pilot, clutching my 4-month-old Giada in one hand and my tiny Ziplock “barf bag” in the other. I was prepared for the worst. God met me in my fear. The whir of the engine commenced a thrilling ride over the mountains.
I "lifted my eyes up to the mountains" and meditated on Psalms as we hovered so close to the tops of trees and over the curve of hills and across streams. I was overwhelmed by God’s creation and the reality that we were nearing the place I have come to know as a home away from home. In the end, I did not need my barf bag – none of us did – and we were all breathless at the beauty.
We boarded a bus and headed for the mission complex and house built by Ericlee’s parents some 60 years ago. I was bursting with excitement for the chance to share this place with my friends from The Bridge, my parents and my two little girls. We were greeted by dozens of friends at the house. A Haitian meal was served as we waited for the second flight with our baggage to arrive. We were thankful all the bags arrived - except for my Dad's carry-on. Sadly, that bag contained all his clothes, shoes and personal items. (He's learning a lesson of patience already.)