Ready or not, Haitian sunrise happens at 5:30 a.m. My sleep was restless last night so when the bright and glorious sun peeked through the hotel window, I was not happy to see it. Adding insult to injury, the air conditioning cuts off at 6 a.m. Fortunately the traumatic start did not set the tone for the entire day. Breakfast was a lively affair with varied menu choices and tasty fruit juice. Following breakfast, the team piled into tap taps for a trip to the country side. Tap taps are small trucks serving as taxis. The passenger area has wooden benches, no seatbelts or doors. Haitian roads leave much to be desired, causing a great deal of “bottom discomfort” during the trip. Travelling through the city was a kaleidoscope of activity; buses, cars, pedestrians and street vendors. The crowds and traffic thinned out as we got closer to our destination, the future site of a new orphanage.
Currently the orphanage is housed inside a walled and gated property in the city’s center. The new site, an hour outside of town is far removed from turmoil. Mountains kiss the sky on three sides and peace is palatable. With the mission team surrounding him, the orphanage director shared his vision for the property. Tears filled my eyes as he spoke of training a generation of children to love the Lord their God. His desires include on site housing for the staff, gardens to grow fresh food, group home situations, trade school to prepare teens for independent living, guest housing for visiting missionaries and at the center of it all, a chapel. The team was invited to “prayer walk” the land. Walking the property, I was overwhelmed with a sense that this moment was why I came to Haiti. My heart surged with love for the people of this country. On the surface there seems to be little hope for the people of Haiti; unemployment is staggering, crime is high, life expectancy is low. But God has not forgotten the people of Haiti. There is hope, there is vision and I believe our team played a pivotal roll in launching tangible change by our prayers today. Those prayers will not return void and many of us will return to this boisterous country to help complete the project.
Tomorrow is a new day in Haiti and adventures await us.