The combined team from Pella and Spencer have landed in Haiti and share the beginnings of their trip, and the exciting things to come.

Hello from Haiti!

Today was a long day with a 5am wake up call to make our 7am flight. We were flying with Missionary Flights International (MFI), an organization that runs flights into the Caribbean for missions organizations. After arriving at MFI’s base bleary eyed and yawning, we had to weigh in. This meant getting everyone on our trip (and our bags) up on the scales to get a total weight!

Getting on the scales for our weigh in!

We were cleared and passed through to the hanger, where we boarded one of the cool 1930’s Douglas DC-3 planes they use. These planes are some of the first commercial airliners ever made and they are extremely reliable!

Boarding the plane at sunrise

Boarding the plane at sunrise

Our awesome ride into Haiti! Inside the plane

Because the planes can’t make the trip in one go, we needed to stop a few times along the way to Haiti. We refueled in Barbados, where we looked longingly at the beaches for relief from the heat. Then into Cap Haitien to go through customs, where we experienced our first glimpse of beautiful Haiti. We were amazed at the rugged mountains and flat pancake plains. Our last leg was the 15 minute flight into Pignon.

Staying out of the heat in Cap

Landing, we were greeted by a multitude of Haitians and some very soggy ground. It is rainy season in Haiti, which means afternoon rain is almost a guarantee every day. We loaded up tightly into our vans and headed to the Many Hands campus in Sylvain.

Loaded up for the short drive to Sylvain!

Getting there, we could see immediately how much God is blessing the work being done. Lots of activity and life, with the Thrive for 5 program running, and smiling staff greeting us with “Bonjour!”.

We were able to get settled in the spacious new living quarters and enjoy a delicious Haitian lunch. Soon we were out getting a community tour with Craig and Christi Gabhart. We walked through Sylvain to experience the area and understand life in Haiti. It was amazing to see kids living in ramshackle houses coming out with big smiles shouting “bonsoir” (good afternoon) to us. It was definitely a challenging experience.

Walking through Sylvain Trying to avoid puddles seems much harder in Haiti!

Recently, Pauline, a lady that staff at Many Hands have been helping, passed away. We were sad to hear this. So it was special to be able to meet her baby daughter Nadia and her family. They were so gracious, even in this time of sorrow. 

Carol was able to steal a hold of the adorable Nadia

Thunder was rumbling as the afternoon rains were rolling in, so we needed to run back to campus. Along the way some of the girls were able to hand out some fun bracelets they had brought along to the kids in Sylvain. It was nice to be able to connect with them this way!

Handing out bracelets to the kids Yet another puddle to navigate!

The rain started pouring and we started running. We made it back to campus only a little wet, but glad for the shelter. Next on our agenda was to meet the staff. We gathered in the Equipping Center and we introduced to the amazing and loving team that God is using in Sylvain. They all welcomed us and we felt their energy as they shared their work.

Some of the MH4H staff Sitting in the Equipping Center during the rainstorm

There was a lull in the rain, and so we were able to move table and chairs into the new pre-school that Many Hands will be running this Fall.

Many hands makes light work! Moving the furniture into the school

After exerting ourselves, running through the rain, and our 2 day journey taking toll, we decided to all rest up until dinner. We enjoyed fellowship, a great orientation from Craig and Christi, and some games.

Enjoying a game of Farkel

We are all excited for what this week will bring. We will be distributing food, helping with the Thrive program, pouring concrete floors and even delivering goats. Getting a taste of Haiti and Sylvain has peaked our curiosity. We are hoping to be ready for whatever God has prepared for us. We want to be available to be used, and to see what the Haitian people can teach us in the process!

Our home in Haiti for the next week!