What Happened in Haiti Can’t Stay in Haiti

We’re home! Safe and sound! And our REAL stories are just too good to keep to ourselves!

July 5, 2010…
Apparently American Airlines thought that we showed up to the Atlanta airport at 4am to hang out for a couple hours with about 150 other people who didn’t speak English… Good ‘ol airline worker Jean came to the rescue after we stood in the same place for two hours and kindly told us as the rest of the crowd that the reason we hadn’t moved was because we weren’t standing in the RED line on the floor… DUH! 
We got to the desk to check all of our luggage conveniently at the time our plane was supposed to be boarding. One woman told us we missed our flight and another called the gate and told them to wait for us and then told us to drop our bags and run. (Let me tell ya, there’s nothing like a nice jog in the morning) We sprinted through security and successfully had four people get bag checked. We made it to the gate and delayed the plane. Success!


As we slept in tents on the roof it poured and there was lightning but it was clearly heat lightning. The leaders checked with the translator to make sure we were safe up there and they were assured that lightning NEVER strikes the ground in Haiti… keep this in mind.

July 6, 2010…
The storm began early in the evening while we were trying to listen to Adam’s testimony so we moved inside. First one of the block walls upstairs collapsed with a bang. Shortly after we moved inside Adam was interrupted again by Brandon bursting in and saying “GET YOUR ELECTRONIC DEVICES OFF THE ROOF NOW!” We went in groups of three up to the roof (which was a quest in itself due to the fact that the stairs were now a waterfall) We all got our things and were back downstairs, and then it happened. BOOM! The house shook sparks came out of the light in the ceiling and the room went dark as lightning struck the neighbors house. As the screams died down Connie realized that Don, Brandon, and Adam were on the roof. Just then the three of them ran through the door soaked and wide eyed. Then Warren came running in, forgetting that he was too tall to clear the doorway, consequently smacking his head on the metal door frame and falling backwards flat on his back. No worries, he was okay! (So it was okay for all of us to then point and laugh) Thank the Lord they were safe!

July 7, 2010…
We moved to a new home where we got to sleep INSIDE and had not one but TWO bathrooms! God really blessed us with that!

July 9, 2010…
We were all excited to go to the AIM base and get our fifteen minute phone call to our families so we didn’t even think twice about cramming fifteen bodies into the back of a pickup truck and driving 20 minutes through the crazy streets of Haiti. Brandon firmly instructed us “15 minutes, don’t call your best friend or check your facebook, call your family, talk, and then hang up and give someone else a turn”. Renee kindly instructed each and every one of us to begin our conversation with “Mom I’m fine” so you wouldn’t worry about us!

July 11, 2010…
We had the opportunity to go to a church service today. As we entered the church one of the people up front made everyone sitting in the front row get up and move. I’m not sure what they said but I’m guessing it was something along the lines of “Move the Americans are here.” Although we had no idea what anybody was saying, we enjoyed watching the “tech team” of the church strip electrical chords with their teeth and shove the raw chords into electrical sockets. No wonder the power constantly went on and off in Haiti!

July 13, 2010…
My group on the morning prayer walk had an interesting day. We had spent so much time up to this point learning about spiritual warfare that we felt pretty confident when our translator pointed to a house and said “That is a Voodoo priests home. Want to go in?” Without a second of hesitation we all replied “Yep!” Without the Holy Spirit within us it absolutely would have been dangerous but with God we are safe wherever we go. It was definitely an interesting day and while that place should have been scary (because the goat skulls hanging from the ceiling weren’t exactly homey) not one of us had any fear.

July 14, 2010…
We decided to practice our DRIMES one more time. We had to use the speakers on Laura’s computer so it was very quiet. We watched Abi, Laura, Hannah, and Michael practice in silence. Then, as Laura and Abi performed their “ABSTRACT HANDS” Michael lowered himself to the ground to stoop down behind the girls, sitting on the pipes that were sticking out of the wall on his way down consequently snapping the pipes and flooding the room. Once again Brandon came charging in breaking the silence yelling “GET EVERYTHING OUT OF THE ROOM!” (We then realized that this was not anger but simply Brandon’s “flood voice”) We quickly grabbed the empty five gallon water jugs and attempted to catch the water. The pastor then came upstairs and shut of the water and fixed the pipe. Goodness you can’t take us anywhere!

July 15, 2010
Debrief day! We were all excited to be at a hotel with air conditioning and a pool! As we sat eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the 12th straight day Brandon shared with us some of the house rules of the hotel. He explained to us that although we were in a gated area we were not the only people staying on the property so we needed to stay safe. As the words “Keep your doors locked you never know who might be walking around out here” came out of his mouth, a man with a machete came walking out of the bushes and up the stairs behind Brandon. Point proven! 

Later on we headed over to the hotel pool. We were all so excited to go for a swim, excited enough to ignore how cloudy the pool was. “Just don’t get your eyes wet!” 

As night rolled around and we had some new sickies, including myself. We realized at that point that over 94% of the team had been sick at one point or another during the trip and about 80% of the team was sick right then. It was time for bed, four to a room that consisted of a double and a twin bed. We pushed the beds together and snuggled nice and close! It was fine because we had air conditioning and a fan… well I should say it was fine WHILE we had air conditioning and a fan. The hotel electricity shut off for TWO hours. I can say that I honestly felt the onset of suffocation.

July 16, 2010
Time to go home! We loaded up the school bus and sat on the bus, shocked that we were traveling on schedule! The bus started up and we were on our way, for about 12 seconds. After the first 12 seconds we came to a halt as our bus driver slammed into a block was and successfully got the bus stuck between a three foot high curb and a wall. Funny how things fit so snuggly sometimes! After about 20 minutes they freed the bus and we were on our way.
We reached the airport and as we worked through the chaos of getting 18 people checked in and through security we all stopped to stare at the one, the only, Wyclef Jean! He even talked to our group and thanked us for what we were doing in Haiti. It was definitely a nice way to end the trip.

We had some crazy experiences but God kept us safe through it all. I thank God for our protection, the lessons we learned, and the opportunities we had to build relationships that I know will last a lifetime.

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