Monday, March 9, 2009
The sun was shining and there was a feeling of expectancy as we gathered at church to pack up the van and head for the airport. We weighed our duffle bags that had been filled with shoes, baby food, lotion, clothes, toys and all kinds of kitchen gadgets for the Badio family in Haiti. James Peter and his family were having their house built. The children of First Christian Church provided the $3,300 from the Vacation Bible School offering of 2005. The house was unable to be constructed earlier due to flooding and shortage of building supplies. But now the time had come and we were on our way to help. It was truly like birthing a baby. With gifts in tow we were going to meet the family and share in their dream come true.
Wanda, Linda, Judy, Glenda, Diane and I were so excited and yet I was a little apprehensive traveling to this third world country. I had read everything I could find on the internet to prepare me for what I would see in Port-au-Prince.
When we arrived in Miami it was very crowded but not chaotic like I thought it would be. We were able to stay in the airport hotel which enabled us to leave our checked baggage on the plane so we would not have to recheck it in the morning. We met our team member Jud, from Iowa whom Wanda had met in 2005 on a Lifeline work mission to Haiti. She was so interesting! She told us how she went to Taiwan on a 2 week mission trip to an orphanage and ended up staying 7 weeks. The conditions were deplorable and she lost 30 pounds.
Sleep did not come as I tossed about thinking of the danger that could be lurking in Haiti. The State Dept. had a travel warning out, reminding US citizens to take all necessary precautions at Port-au-Prince. In fact it said not to travel there. Sixty Americans had been kidnapped in 2006 and 12 in 2207. The thugs were now kidnapping Haitian children for ransom since the mission organizations refused to pay for missionaries.