A Group of People

From Haiti : Update 001

In cause, life, mission on March 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm

By Ezra Stanton

Ezra: Descending

I am so proud of this team already and we have only been here for a couple hours. After a somewhat intense 24 hour  period of travel (minus a stop on the beach and a quick trip to In-N-Out), our team arrived in Haiti. Within an hour of descending from the sky, our team was actively serving the Haitians without prompting or instruction.

Just before lunch, I found myself in the middle of a conversation with the missionaries who are overseeing this entire operation. Out of nowhere, I heard the distinct sound of laughter. Not the chuckling or a courtesy kind, but a laughter from deep within. Laughter from the mouths of different people, different generations, different nationalities. It was the kind of laughter that made you turn around and wonder what in the world am I missing out on? And as you already know that is exactly what we did.

However, the cause of this rich laughter was far from expected. One of our team members, a woman by the name of Megan was at a black board underneath the open Haitian sky teaching 50 or so people. I don’t know if it was the blank canvas or a chance to simply live out her passion (Megan teaches French at a local high school) or her larger than life personality that brought about this impromptu decision, but she went for it. The moment was nothing shy of incredible. It was the kind of moment that as a team leader you think: “This is exactly how you want to descend off a flight – interacting, serving and loving.”

I have had the privilege of leading quite a few missions trips over the past decade, yet I have never seen a team descend and hit the ground like this. This just caused the level of expectation of what The Almighty is going to do, to ascend to a new level.

Shera: Perspective

We arrived in Haiti after a long day of travel. I thought I knew what to expect. Even though I was warned, it was still a shock to see the tents and shacks as the plane landed. We stepped off the plane and into the humid air. I listened to the “island” music as we entered the shuttle to get our bags. After no luck searching for our bags, we discovered the other team picked them up a couple hours earlier. It was a blessing in disguise, because after 30 minutes of searching, the crowd was gone by the time we left which made it less chaotic leaving the airport.

Craig took us to our van, and as he lead us down the walkway a boy about 13 years old begged us for money until he could no longer follow the fence. We were told not to give them money, because they most likely work for people who abuse them. It still broke my heart to see this boy pleading for money while patting his belly and saying he was hungry in French or Creole. I could only pick out the word “manger” meaning to eat.

Traffic. There are no rules to the road, so only aggressive drivers get through. After an interesting ride past rubble and women carrying baskets on their heads, we arrived to a cement block wall with razor wire on top. The church compound consisted of a church and school under a large tent, a cement foundation waiting for the church building to clear customs, and the dorms. I was surprised at how nice our dorms and bathrooms are. Plywood walls and western toilets!

Megan speaks fluent French, so she jumped right in with some girls on a break from school. I am trying to relearn French and pick up some Creole. Everyone we meet is so happy and friendly. We haven’t left the church compound yet, and may not for the first couple days due to the heated political issues surrounding tomorrow’s election. The ex-president arrived yesterday, so we are hoping this does not cause any problems here.

We sent time today sorting seeds. There are thousands of seeds (thousands of pounds) that will be used to start gardens for the Haitians. I am excited to see that all of the projects we see are to help the Haitians with self sufficiency. While some of us sorted seeds, some of the guys built a cabinet for food storage in the dorm kitchen.

When I first landed here, I thought, “What difference can I make?” I am excited to have a part in helping and connecting with the Haitians. I think God is also trying to teach me perspective. How many times have I complained about something small, or obsessed with over a new “something” when many Haitians worry about clean water and food.

Much Love,
Ezra

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