Want to know how the trip went? Then join along the next few days as I break it down for you!  I’ll add in video clips, photo’s and dialogue so you can get a sneak peek into what it was like for the team. Every trip is unique and this one was no exception. So, let’s get started!

If you want the cliff notes and brief update, then this is your post. If you want to dig into the trip with me, then read the posts that follow-up to this one!

Trip Summary:

I went with a team from Peace Covenant Presbyterian of Key West, Florida. Loved this group! Great folks and they had me laughing till my sides hurt most nights. We flew out of Fort Pierce, Florida with Missionary Flights International on a DC3. The DC3 does take A LOT longer to fly but it’s the most comfortable of flights and I dig getting to see the color changes of the Caribbean as we cruise at 10,000 feet.

After arriving in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, we traveled to Baptist Haiti Mission in Fermate where we stayed for the week. The mountain area in Fermate is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Trust me.

We visited a large local market in Kenscoff on Friday morning before going to our home site in Fort Jacques to begin working. Over the next four to five days, we worked along side of our Haitian masons, translators and some of the family to build a two-room home. This home was being built for a single mother with two daughters and two grandchildren who would live in the home. They lost their home during the earthquake and had been doing the best for shelter until this past week. The mother, Miss Anita, was so grateful for a place where “her children would not be wet when they slept”.

During the dedication ceremony, we noticed that S118 had been scratched into the wet cement of the floor at the threshold. Miss Anita explained that it stood for Psalm 118 and was the families reminder every day. “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good! His faithful love endures forever” [Psalm 118:1 read more here].

 We did get to experience the beginning of rainy season over the course of the last three days of our trip. Despite the extra rain, the house was completed on time and it didn’t stop any of us from having an amazing time. Sadly, every trip comes to a close and we had to pack it up and head back to the States.

As I come home bruised and fatigued, I wondered what my culture shock would be this trip. Last time, it took a few days to realize I could brush my teeth with tap water, flush the toilets and that I could get a hot shower. I also was in awe by our roads and sense of order to the design and plans of our communities. So what emotion would capture me this time I wondered.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that our relationships [or lack of] would strike me the most. Somehow over the last 50-60 years, our culture has moved away from deep relationships. We don’t make the time for others or even engage in moments when they present themselves. I left a place that shows its deep connection to community and familial bonds. I greeted a place that fusses over silly spats and marginal differences instead of bonding over commonalities. A people who rush from point A to point B without interacting with others. A people who have become inward facing instead of outward focused. It all feels so shallow and lonely.

I could go on and on about that topic but let’s reserve that for its own series, okay?!

I hope you will join me through the journey via the other posts upcoming. If you are looking for a way to Be The Light and would like to support or join an effort with me in Haiti, please give me a shout! Two upcoming trips are in the early planning stages for Fall 2012 and Spring 2013.

Until next time — Be The Light,

Jen

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