Saturday, July 24, 2010

Haiti Update #1: Airport Adventures

Over the next two weeks we will be sharing some of our adventures from a short-term trip to Pignon, Haiti. As part of our non-profit, Christian Friendship Ministries, we are hosting two mission teams from Fresno, California. We are excited to invite many of our friends to experience Haiti. Some are returners and some are venturing into this beautiful country for the first time.

I am writing you from a hotel in the Miami airport. Our first team is settling in for some much-needed rest after a long day and night of travel. It's hard to believe we left Fresno just a day ago and we've already had so much adventure. We drove from Fresno to Los Angeles. Thankfully, that was uneventful. We made it to the airport in plenty of time. We waited in a long line for group check-in. When we got to the front and began the check-in process. A supervisor came over when she spotted our rubber bins of supplies. She said we were not allowed to take these to Haiti because they were not actual suitcases. After about 45 minutes of deliberation we decided to buy duffel bags from American Airlines for $25 a pop and repack everything right there in line. We were most worried about the water filtration system we brought for Paul Brant to install. We packed it in lots of clothes and pillows and prayed for the best. Then we ran down to security where we were detained because of the infrared sensor on the filter system. They finally let us through. We ran to our gate only to discover they had given away our seats just minutes before.

We all waited for the 1 a.m. flight from L.A. to Dallas. The Gilmores and Paul Brant were able to board but Troy and Allison Vasquez ended up having to wait for the next flight to Miami. We all met up here in Miami about 2:30 p.m. There is no chance of getting on any more flights to Port Au Prince today so we checked into a hotel and we are listed for a morning flight. Thankfully, we found all our bags here in Miami except one of the duffel bags. The water filter and all the camera equipment is here with us. We give God the praise and glory for safety of the team and provision thus far.

This afternoon Ericlee and Troy spent some time with a very generous ticket agent who helped change all of our standby tickets to actual seats on the 7 a.m. flight tomorrow from Miami to Port Au Prince. Originally, we were split up into two flights and not sure we would even make it on these flights that are way overbooked. Please continue to pray for us as we travel. Our journey is certainly not over. We believe your prayers on our behalf are very important. We've already missed our missionary flight from PAP to Pignon. We will probably have to drive with our Haitian field director, Peter, when we arrive in Haiti. All of this said, our team is in good spirits. We are grateful for posh, comfortable beds to rest in and a good belly-filling meal. Allison has been doing great (for all those concerned about the pregnant mama in our group) and Meilani and Giada are traveling troopers. Bon Voyage!

1 comment:

Sarah D said...

What a journey you guys are on! I am thankful for your positive outlook and praying for your two teams...and the drive through the mountains. Haiti is always an adventure. Hope you will discover some joyful surprises in all of this.

The song listed on my friends blog might really minister to you all as you wait. You'll find it here.

Bon Voyaje. Bondye Beni Ou.