A Quick Trip to Haiti

When I am in Haiti, and we do not have a team, upon returning to the US people often ask me, "Well, what did you do?"  Many times it is hard to articulate because we at Haiti Awake seem to stay so busy and the time goes by so quickly. . . and yet, how can I even describe what we did?

I decided to briefly document this trip so that you can have some understanding of what goes on at Haiti Awake "behind the scenes."  

Thursday, April 13

Friday, April 14

  • Woke up at 4 a.m.
  • Took the bus to Aux Cayes.
  • Bought food and rented a tap tap to take us to Pestel, one of the areas hard hit by Hurricane Matthew.
  • Spent hours traveling through the mountains to Pestel.  Struck by the irony that people had bags of charcoal for sale on the roadside all along the way . . . another reminder of the effects of the hurricane.  Due to all of the fallen trees, it seems everyone decided to make charcoal.  So, there's a glut of charcoal.
  • Arrived in Pestel in time for dinner.  Was welcomed with the best cup of Haitian coffee.

Saturday, April 15.

  • Woke up early again.
  • Food distribution through community leader.
  • On the road by 9:30.  Had a flat tire less within the first 15 minutes of travel.
  • Stopped in Camp Perrin to visit a new friend
  • Arrived in Aux Cayes about 3.
  • Took a bus back to Port-au-Prince.
  • Arrived at the Haiti Awake house about 8:30.

Sunday, April 16.  Resurrection Sunday.

  • Attended church with the children.  Stayed with them in children's church.  Impressed by the teachers who were working with them during the long church service.
  • Lunch with a staff member.
  • Took the children to Cite Soleil with us to do our first outreach there, partnering with families.
  • Looked at a potential new location for Haiti Awake.
  • Met our new "guard-dog-in-training" at the children's home.
  • Had dinner with everyone and then began preparing for the team coming tomorrow.
  • Caleb fell asleep holding onto my toe.  I don't think anyone has ever fallen asleep holding onto my toe before . . . 

Monday, April 17

  • A busy morning making final preparations for the team's arrival. 
  • Went to have a heart-to-heart talk with the children and to tell them all about their new sponsors.  Some of the sponsors had sent gifts which  was exciting for everyone.
  • Dropped some vitamins off for a friend at another organization.
  • Quick lunch with a staff member.
  • Airport by noon.
  • Picked up the team.
  • Went to the market to get the cake for Idelmy and Migerlson's party.
  • Kids party at 2.
  • The rest of the afternoon is a blur, but I know the team did a neighborhood Bible school, and I visited with friends in the community.
  • The evening was filled with so much conversation with both the team and the staff.

Tuesday, April 18.  Happy 2nd birthday, Caleb Steven Derard.

  • Spent the early morning organizing supplies and thinking ahead to the four June teams.
  • Went with Wesly to Stop-and-Go to get a birthday cake for Caleb.
  • Sent staff members on a number of errands as I finished up my list of the daily to do's.
  • Birthday party for Caleb.
  • Airport by 1:45.
  • Flight through Atlanta (long layover!).
  • Home a little after midnight.
Sustained commitment, giving that goes beyond the crisis, giving that is not reactionary or emotionally manipulated, requires more. It’s love, not need, that fuels mission. Mission is more. It’s not crisis driven. It’s relationally driven. It’s not a gift but an investment. It goes beyond charity because it’s Kingdom work.
— Keith Stewart