Written by Jack Moss and Kyle Akker with the Christ Family Church team from Davenport, IA
Kyle and I (Jack) began our journey together at a little after 4 in the morning. Kyle picked me up and we headed to the airport for our adventure. Our flights ran pretty smoothly and Cadena wouldn’t let us sleep. Landing in Port au Prince was when our fun really began. Our transition out of the airport was fine, but the car ride was one of the craziest experiences of our lives. Both of us were occupying the backseat of our van weaving at high speeds through close traffic and mountains. While some of us found the no traffic laws enjoyable, others were experiencing a bit of culture shock. However, God decided to test us very early. We began to drive on gravel roads and on top of this, the rain had started to pour. For those of you who don’t know, gravel roads in Haiti are not roads really. They are more passageways that are questionably navigable.
Our first real test of the day came when we came across a line of cars waiting at a river. Upon further inspection, we learned that the river had flooded from the rain and we were essentially stuck for the time being. We passed the time with fun games and fellowship but our patient waiting was tested as the clock started to hit five hours of waiting. When night fell upon us, we were eventually able to cross. The only part more interesting than driving on gravel roads is doing it in the night time after it had rained for four hours. God wasn’t even close to done with us yet.Traveling by van from Port-au-Prince. What typically is a small creek that one can jump across, with the rains it was a raging river. The team had to wait 5 hours before they could cross. The group stayed positive while waiting for the river to go down, including group photos.
Our next hill to overcome was literally a hill. Our monster of a van wasn’t able to get up this slippery slope that was. Kyle, Greg, and I, along with our Haitian travel guides, got out and pushed the van the rest of the 30 meter stretch, which included a few faceplants (Poor Greg). We were all exhausted by this point but God still wasn’t done with us. We came across our final hill. Looking back at it, it was a miracle we made it up that hill. A miracle is also an understatement. Mud, a 3 foot ditch, and multiple potholes in the ground made this seem impossible. However, with a second effort, it felt like God’s hands were literally pushing us up this hill. It was an incredibly humbling experience. Finally conquering our last challenge, we made it to Pignon in one piece ready to get some good sleep.
We were awakened by a large ring signaling breakfast. With some rest and food in our bellies, we walked down the street to a home in order to pour concrete floors. The girls were excited to see all the kids and paint their nails. Another big hit was blowing bubbles so the kids could chase them. Our entire group pitched in and formed a bucket brigade of concrete. The team bonding formed was astounding and I can tell that it will be great to see our group bond more throughout the week. We talked with the family and others helping out to find out a little more about them. Some kids want to be doctors or engineers. We finished the concrete floor and gobbled up lunch. We proceeded to explore the market place and pick up supplies for feeding families in the community. After dropping off the supplies back at home, we visited the soon-to-be banana farm and a group of neighborhood kids who were eager to keep jumping in and out of the truck bed.Today, Elinise and her family received a cement floor. Elinise is profoundly disabled and her mother brought her to us for help. The little girl is now getting physical therapy every day and she is getting formula, as she can’t eat normal food. Praise god for His special angels. The bucket brigade was in full force to install the cement floor. The homeowner had a lot of construction experience and worked very hard beside the team. The team showed good teamwork today, installing the cement floor. Burns, the MH4H construction coordinator, worked with the team today. Burns directing the team and having some fun on the job site. A quick break from the morning work. So many beautiful children all around the team today.
The suspension bridge that crosses the river by Sylvain.
We made a quick stop further down the river to see a bridge built by another group. Some people (Ryan) thought it would be funny to rock the bridge back and forth in an attempt to scare his younger sister. It didn’t work though! We drove back, only getting stuck twice, and enjoyed a meal made by our wonderful cooks. The group finished the night off with a casual neighborhood stroll and devotions. Our group is enjoying our stay so far and Mom and Dad if you are reading this, I hope you had a great anniversary.
With God’s Love,
Jack and Kyle