Monday, May 18, 2015

Some of us had been here a time or two before, and knew what to expect. Others had only seen pictures or heard stories, and only had their mental creation of what we would be walking into. I fall into the second group in this case, and the nerves I had before coming on this trip were through the roof. 

It all started at 1:00 am this morning when my alarm first went off. I woke up, and thought to myself, what in the world have I gotten myself into? There have been a lot of stories told, as my sister and mom had both been on this trip before. They had the call to visit Haiti three years ago, but I never thought I would feel the need to have this experience. 

Slowly the team all arrived at the airport. Before I knew it, I was all checked in for the flight, bags were checked, and we were through security, patiently waiting to board the plane. The first plane ride was simple. It was so early, I was able to sleep through the whole thing. The second, and final, plane ride brought on more nerves. I knew that at this point there was no turning back, and I was about to have the most eye-opening experience of my life. 

The moment we stepped off the plane, I immediately felt at ease. There were people guiding us to where we had to go next, and we all congregated together in order to make it through customs. When we rounded the corner, and were headed down to claim our bags, there were people singing and playing music to welcome us. 

After we had our bags, we made our way outside to board the taptap. I have never felt so overwhelmed in my life. There were people trying to grab our luggage for us, and we were told not to allow anyone to wheel our bags for us. Well, they wouldn't take "no" for an answer... we made it to the taptap and everyone was demanding our tip. I thought to myself, if this is how this week is going to go, I don't know if I'm going to make it. Our driver took over and grabbed everyone to get them on board. This gave me the most calming feeling and I realized how safe and secure we would be during our time here. 

Driving through the city to get to the guest house, I couldn't take enough in. There were people carrying buckets on their head, selling fruit on the side of the road, and garbage everywhere you looked. I immediately knew this was why I was brought here. I no longer had to go off of the mental images I had, but I saw how devastated the area really is. 

The guest house is truly a "diamond in the rough" in this city. We all got our room assignments, and got settled in. We sat down to dinner, opened in prayer, and enjoyed the most amazing meal. We were able to go up to the balcony, and get a view of the world around us. All I could think was, "wow!" We had some time for devotions, and were able to sing some songs of worship. I finally felt comfortable in calling Haiti "home" for the next week. 

After some time of worship, we began to sort and pack the donations we would disperse throughout the week. After everything was packed, we began to get our things ready for tomorrow's adventure on the water truck. I cannot express enough how much I am looking forward to venturing into the poorest city of the country, tomorrow. Learning that no other groups make the trek into Cite Soliel to deliver water, again spoke volumes in how much meaning my time here, would have for the people I would be able to encounter. 

As we head to bed tonight, I continue to keep tonight's devotion in the back of my mind... how am I going to take this trip to the next degree? This will stick with me throughout this week as I continue to take more and more steps out of my comfort zone. I am so thankful for all of these people I will get to take this journey with, and I cannot wait to see how we work together as the hands and feet of the LORD. 

Written by: Alyssa Gazda

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