Haiti Mission Trip: Day 3
We have all heard about breakfast in bed, right? Personally, I’ve never had one. When I woke up on this day, I was greeted with prayer in bed! After this, knew that no matter how things went, God’s will would be done. He gave me peace.
At about 9 o’clock, most of us were in one of the 2 trucks ready to make the trip up to Mount Pestel. (Because of the road conditions, we had to leave the van at the mission house, and make 2 trips with the trucks.)
Going up this steep mountain in the back of a loaded down pick-up truck was scary! It was dusty, steep, and a huge cliff awaited us on one side. We all held on, and braved it up the mountain.
This 10 minute drive was an upgrade from the 2 hour drive the previous day. When I stepped out, I took a look at the landscape. For a boy that rarely gets out of the state of Kentucky, it was the most beautiful place that I have ever seen. We were standing on the mountain, looking at the city below us, the ocean beside that, and mountains on the other side. Add a small patch of fog, and it looked like a professional screensaver.
Then, I looked at the people and my heart had mixed reactions. I could tell that these people weren’t as desperate as the people we had seen the previous day, but they were still under the poverty line.
We all carried in our suitcases full of medicine and toys, and set up the medical clinic like we had done in the past few days. Things ran much smoother than they did in Canaan.
A few hours later, Luther, the pastor of the church and I, discussed a plan. We would go to the market, get the animals, and take them to the pastors house. That afternoon, the pastor would call the families over to his house, and we would give the animals to them there. This would prevent us from giving the animals to the families in the open, and ultimately preventing us from causing a riot. Sounded like a plan to me!
And we were off! At about 10:30, Luther told mom and I that it was time to go. Stan Rogers, Jared Stallons, Roger (an interpreter), and the pastor joined us for the adventure.
We first stopped at the bank where we would convert our American Dollars into Haitian Gourdes. Because we had a large amount, and the preacher of our church knew the local banker, we were able to get the best exchange rate.
We were finally ready to hit the market! After a 20 minute drive, we had arrived. As much as I wanted to go in, Luther, the pastor, and Roger went inside to haggle prices. I knew that it was best for us to stay in the vehicle, because as soon as they saw an American, they would raise the prices on us. Unfortunately, my visions of catching animals by hand in a pen didn’t come to fruition.
About an hour later, Luther came back with some good news! The animals that he just found were cheaper and healthier than the ones at market that we visited the day before!
Luther made the exchange and filled out the paperwork. After he had finished, mom and I entered the market where we saw what we had bought! Those animals were so cute! It was awesome to actually see what months of hard work was actually going to pay for! We didn’t stay around too long, because the vender selling the animals saw that they had bought them for Americans (which meant that he could have raised the prices), and was upset. We left.
But one question remained. How were we going to transport them up the mountain to the pastor’s house? Luther already had that planned. One of his friends let us put the animals in the back of his truck, and he would haul them back up the mountain.
We returned back to the mountain village where the team was handing out the rice and beans, toys, candy, t shirts and underwear. After the supplies had been exhausted, we made the trip back down the mountain as a group.
Mom, myself, and crew hopped in the back of the truck and headed back up the mountain. (Me and these mountain roads were getting very familiar with each other.)
Once inside the pastors property, there they were! The animals had made it up the mountain! Once the pastor had gathered the families he deemed were most in need, Luther told them about the gift that we were giving them… under one condition. They must return a set number of offspring back to the pastor, who would then give them to more families. They agreed to these terms.
One at a time, each family member stepped up where I gave them the rope that had their animal on the other end. Up until this point, I had rarely seen many of the Haitian adults smile. After they had received their animal, they couldnt stop smiling! I had a sense of relief come over me… It was a success!
As they walked their furry little friends down the hill, I could sense the joy that they had. The money and time that many people put into this project had paid off. This was rejuvenating for me.
After taking a step back, I realized how God was in the details. We got the best exchange rate for our dollars. The animals were cheaper and healthier at this market than the ones in the market the day before. We had free transportation from the market to the pastors house. And the best part? We were able to give the animals in peace, instead of a free-for-all, mob-like fashion. That was the theme for the day. Peace, and God had given it to me.
When I doubted, He came through. When I worried, He prevailed. God taught me a lesson: He is in control, whether I have a plan or not.
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