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Haiti 2010, Day 1

May 31, 2010

God has blessed me again to allow me to visit Haiti in hopes of helping some of the people and spread His word. After searching the Nazarene compassionate Ministries web site where they list all Work & Witness projects that are scheduled around the world. I contacted the leader for this trip to Haiti with a group from The Sanctuary Mississauga in Mississauga Ontario Canada (Near Toronto). After corresponding with the team leader, who is also the Pastor, I was invited to join them on a mission to help a small village in the mountains of southern Haiti called Baie d’Orange. The tentative plan was to meet some of the group in New York at JFK airport and the rest of them in Port A Prince, Haiti. 

I left home on May 21, 2010, first flying to New York, spending the night there in a Hotel. In the morning of May 22, 2010 I met some of the group at the airport and it was off to Haiti. The plan was to fly to Port A Prince and stay in the Nazarene University in Port A Prince, spend the next day preparing for the trip to Baie d’Orange. 

I had many surprises on this trip, the first was to find out The Sanctuary Mississauga was not a Nazarene Church, but a Southern Baptist Church. This turned out to be a blessing in many ways. The makeup of the team included people with their origins from the USA, Canada, India, Jamaica, The Dominican Republic, Trinidad and of course some people from Haiti. What a great opportunity to be able to meet and talk to such a variety of people who were all children of God and share the love of Jesus Christ. 

Our Mission Team

When we arrived in Port A Prince we were picked up by the Nazarene Caribbean region Work & Witness (W&W) coordinator. Him and his wife and their one year old daughter are now living in Haiti hosting teams each week from around the USA and Canada. We also met the assistant W&W cooridinator who would join us on this mission. The trip from the airport to the Nazarene University was an eye opener. Many, many buildings were completely destroyed and others severely damaged. 

Just one example of a building after the earthquake

With hundreds and thousands of buildings destroyed or damaged the people are forced to live with relatives or in tents provided by Churches, The United Nations and many other relief agencies. Out of over three million people in Port A Prince there are hundreds of thousands of people displaced. Many roads and bridges are damaged or destroyed and the ones that are left are in very bad shape. In spite of all of this the people of Haiti that we met were hard-working, cheerful and full of hope. All of our prayers and help are needed for these people in need. 

One of hundreds of tent cities in Port A Prince, Haiti

We made it to the university where they have a building that serves as headquarters for the W&W cooridinators. It has a kitchen, bathrooms and some dormitory rooms with bunks for the W&W teams. When we arrived there was also a team from Oklahoma who were getting ready to leave the next day. The team was mostly college students in nursing and pre-med. They were planning on helping some local doctors with a clinic at a remote location in Haiti. On the trip though the mountains the edge of the road gave way and the vehicle with the doctors rolled down the mountain and a young woman doctor died in the crash. Fortunately none of the students were in that vehicle.  A a result the students were forced to do another project. We all said a prayer for the injured and the family of the doctor. 

Work & Witness Headquarters building on the Nazarene Campus

It was hot and humid and would rain a little or a lot every day. The good news is there was an air conditioner in the dormitory rooms that worked when the power was on. So it was supper and then off to bed.

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