Thursday, July 1, 2010

"Welcome to Haiti"...

These aren't exactly the words that greeted me as I landed in Port Au Prince today around 3:00 PM..

But lets rewind a bit.

I woke up this morning around 3:30 AM back in Michigan to my alarm which I almost slept through after only 2 hours of sleep. I wasn't as tired as you would expect, probably because of my growing excitement for the day ahead of me. Me and my older brother then left for Detroit metro airport to catch my flight at 7. Then I was off to Miami, where I waited out my 2 and a half hour layover.

After getting some cat naps in, and some chit chat with the other passengers we finally began to land in the Port Au Prince airport. As we got closer to the ground the rusty roofs on the crude cement building became clearer.

It was strange. My heart began to sink even before the plane touched the ground. The communities looked so impoverished from above that even down town Flint might look attractive.

We finally landed and left the plane. Seeing as this was my first experience out of the US, I had no idea where to go. So I followed everyone else down a flight of stairs, onto a bus, into a large warehouse looking building where my passport was checked and I picked up my bags.

As soon as I stepped past the desk and out the back of the airport I saw a Haitian man with one arm, holding a paper with my name on it. So i followed him past a TON of Haitians. I already felt like I was sticking out like a sore thumb due to my light skin tone. But beyond that, it was sad seeing so many people just standing around, (some with visible scars, and missing limbs) with no place to go.

My Haitian guide then led me to Larry Judy, whom I will be sharing a house, and spending the month with. We both got into his vehicle, and I watched as he navigated through mass chaos. People ran every direction, and there seems to be no rules on the road aside from stopping at red light. He promised to show me how to drive his stick shift later so I can go through town on my own. :O

Port Au Prince almost seems surreal to drive through. It seems like a city that you might only see in the movies. People clutter almost every foot of the streets and traffic is a resounding noise of car horns.

We then made it here to the house that we are both staying, which has been a missionary house for many years apparently. Then Larry took me to meet many people, both Haitian, and other missionaries, of whom I could only remember a few names.

There is a group of missionaries from New York, that arrived here on Monday. Me and Larry will be working with them tomorrow, and most likely until they leave. The plan is to wake up at 5:30 AM tomorrow, so we can go and continue the construction of a nearby school.

After many interesting, and humorous conversations with them, we came home for dinner which was actually normal food! Then, once he had answered all my questions, we went out for a walk through the surrounding area. Port Au Prince is not a quiet city! There are makeshift sales booths on both sides of the roads where Haitians sell everything from DVDs to shoes, to fresh mangos, to fried chicken. Did I mention the streets are crowded?

There are also many buildings through town which still remain in rubble. But the Haitians are learning to live around the messy streets and tent villages that they have created.

The atmosphere is odd. Overall the city seems jolly, and in high spirits, despite their rough living conditions.

On another note.. This trip is so different from any other trip I have been on. Because Larry has given me the freedom to do whatever I wish and go where ever I wish. So it is cool to just feel free to let the Spirit literally be able to guide my steps..

Please pray for me!:

-That my effort wont be waisted.
-That many peoples lives will be effected in a positive way because I came.
-That I would stay focused, and in tune with my sweet Lord.
-That I would work hard no matter how hot it gets or how tired I get.
-That I will keep a good attitude through the rest of the month... Cause no doubt things will get rough.

Anyways, it's getting late and the morning will come fast. For you A.D.D. readers, I will try to keep my posts shorter, and I will also try to post some pictures, so I don't have to describe so much!

Finally, last but not least I would like to thank EVERY ONE of you guys that supported me financially or emotionally to make this trip possible! I love you guys!

I will be praying for you all!

Peace, Love, and a Goodnight sleep!

4 comments:

travelbug17 said...

amazing.
I cannot wait to read more :)
I'm praying for you undoubtedly.
While reading this, it still hasn't fully hit me that you're there...how amazing it is to know and read your heart for our Saviour.
God is so good.
Love you very much Elijah.

~Sarah Joy

Miranda said...

Elijah,

This is so great to hear how the Lord is using you in Haiti for His glory! I can tell by reading your post and hearing about this trip that you truly have a longing to share Christ with these people! My family will be praying for you! We'll miss ya at chicken butchering! :(

~Miranda

~Kris said...

AHHH!! I'm so glad you posted :) I could literally hear, smell, and see what you were describing.. especially at the airport and in the city...

I love you and I'm so excited to watch this unfold... Welcome to the weird dynamic that is your next month!.. Joy that you won't understand.. and a breaking heart that will only grow..

I love you :)
~K

Bekah said...

=) WOO! So exciting to hear about your trip and to see what God is doing. Keep up the good work.
Love them like Jesus!

<3 +_B