Today was, for some, their first time in Haiti. Their first time to ride in a WW II cargo plane. Their first time to visit an open air market. The first time riding in the back of a pickup. (Ok, maybe not with this group of Iowans.). And those first timers had a lot of questions. Questions about the people, the food, the exotic fruits and vegetables not recognized at the market, and about Haitian life in general. Answers to those questions often came from the veterans, and started with “The last time we were here…”. Teammates shared stories from past trips, with laughs and advice from lessons learned. Those who have been here before, were reminded of the wonder of seeing Haiti for the first time, and might have seen new things, too.
We were all excited to see the staff, and local friends of Many Hands. We were excited to see the new campus at Maliarette, and we prayed with, and for, the new staff. We were glad to bring peanut butter from the US, as well as clothing and other needed supplies and gifts. It was an exciting first day!
The afternoon was also full of reminders why we are here. Reminding us why we brought vitamin drops for the babies. Reminding us why we’ll deliver bags of rice and beans. Reminding us that we have answered the call to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Whether we are 17 or 70, on our first trip, or our last, this team was moved by the Holy Spirit to come to Haiti. We are here to share God’s love and mercy, and His forgiveness that is offered to every last one of us. Our first night, we should all sleep well, and we’ll be refreshed and refueled for tomorrow’s firsts.