We’ve arrived in Port au Prince. We are safely settled into Estinfils Guest House in the center of the city, surrounded outside the walled compound by many who have so very little.
Our group met at the airport in Kansas City at 4 am to begin our journey. With few challenges we found our way through Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, and to Port Au Prince. At the airport in Port au Prince, we emerged from the baggage terminal to face a sea of strangers intent on “helping us with our bags.” There was some confusion and anxiety on the part of several of us as we found our way through dozens trying to “help” get us to the two vans that would take us to the guesthouse. We heard Creole, French, and English being spoken around us, all in tones that seemed to demonstrate a sense of urgency and frustration in the race to help us.
We settled into the vans and were escorted to the guesthouse in what was about a 20 minute drive through the narrow winding streets of Port Au Prince. On several occasions I noted we had made several turns and were suddenly traveling in the opposite direction from which we started. One would struggle mightily to return even a few blocks from where we came let alone find one’s way back to the airport. The roads were rocky, bumpy and dusty, often passable only when others allowed the lane to be shared. We passed vehicles called Taptaps; a small pick up truck with bench seats in the bed of the truck allowing 10 or 12 people to squeeze together in the back for the ride. Apparently when you want to stop, you simply “tap” on the side of the truck.
The poverty is evident everywhere. Certainly not unexpected by anyone, but the shear number of people and the conditions that they share is sobering.
We have shared time together this afternoon and evening at the guesthouse. Each time we pray as a group we form a circle and hold hands. I am touched each time by the light squeeze of hands I receive as we close our prayer. It feels an expression of love and oneness.
We begin our work in earnest tomorrow morning. With Gods will and blessing our eyes will be opened to the possibilities for our service.
-Your mission team