The Grace Gate Team has officially arrived in Haiti! It’s hot, it’s humid, and it’s absolutely beautiful!
First and foremost we once again want to thank our incredible family back home who are lifting us and praying for us. Not only have we felt it, but we have already seen God moving in incredible ways.
One of our first big hurdles was just getting everyone here safe and healthy. Travel offers a lot of opportunities for things to go wrong, especially when you have 4 separate flights, a variety of luggage, and an overnight stay in the airport followed by 7 extremely sleepy travelers entering into a foreign country. Two of our team members (Jakob and Jannie) were on the trip here to Haiti Arise last year and experienced a very chaotic confusing arrival at the airport. We also received word the night before our final flight that there had been some demonstrations in the city we were to be flying into that may cause our hosts to be delayed/late picking us up at the airport. While I’d love to say we are so holy that the worries just rolled right off of us, there was definitely some stressors attached to the whole situation. But God is so good! Over the past few months he has pulled this team together in ways that are far beyond our own doing. So instead of sitting in our fret we set up camp between two of the baggage claims (along with our new found friend Gabrielle from New York) and worshipped and prayed. It was amazing! To be able to openly worship and pray in such a public space with a group of people giving their worries to the Lord is such an honor. And it set the tone for what was to come.
The night offered very little rest but everyone woke/got up (there really wasn’t much sleep) with a smile. We boarded the plane and made the two hour flight to Haiti. Upon arrival we fully expected chaos, confusion, and possibly a stressful wait. But that’s not what God had at all. Instead he took all the chaos and calmed it. We were greeted by mostly friendly faces, an easy process, and our hosts waiting for our arrival. Check, check, check!!!
And now we’re here at Haiti Arise. While I write this there are screams of joyful card playing, teens screeching around the house on roller blades, and lots of laughter! While the enemy would have loved to use the stress of getting here to cause division and turmoil God has used it for the absolute opposite. We are joyfully united and expectant of what’s to come!
As far as the nuts and bolts: yesterday was our arrival and then filled with rest and recouping. We did our best to get oriented and took a short walk around the “neighborhood”. While the language barrier kept our greetings short it was amazing to see the beaming grins each time we offered a smile and a “bon jou”. In the coming days we will be spending more time out in the community testifying and praying. But this time we will be joined by an interpreter to bridge the gap. We would love prayer for divine appointments and tender open hearts!
Today we made a quick visit to the Children’s Village and Goat Farm, both of which are uniquely incredible. Jakob and Jannie were able to see the home that they prayed over last year before the current family moved in, followed by our entire team (along with our gracious hosts Wade and Marilyn) praying over the next home to be finished. We are believing in major blessings for the coming family!
After lunch came the highlight of the day. We were able to join in the church’s annual baptism service where around 10 individuals were dipped in the ocean off the beautiful Haitian coast followed by their heartfelt testimonies and encouragement at the church service later in the evening. It was absolutely freaking amazing!!! It’s a full blog post in itself. But let’s just say this: the American church could learn a lot from one of these services!
Tomorrow we are planning some painting at the Children’s Village and a visit to the local market in Grand Goave with Thursday as our Hospital visit day. We appreciate all of your prayers and cannot wait to share more details with you as life unfolds here in Haiti! Hugs and loves!!!