Here's the skinny...
Weather in New York grounded us in Raleigh for another 24 hours Saturday morning. We made the best of it, and looking back, we are thankful for the extra time to bond as a team.
Sunday morning we take off on the 6am flight to New York (JFK.) We arrive and we are stoked! We are going to Haiti!!! About half an our after arriving at JFK, our gate changes and we notice our departure time had changed too. What was a 2 hour layover ended up being about 5. We were originally flying on a 767, but due to equipment failure our plane was not an option. Kudos to American Airlines for not canceling the flight but instead finding another plane. The delay came in that the replacement plane was larger, and required different certification, thus we had to wait for different flight crew. Eventually, after our crew arrived, and after a mix-up with the in flight meals not being delivered, we were able to board, and we were on our way.
Due to our late departure we were unable to catch our charter flight from Port au Prince to Jacmel. The latest a charter flight can take off is 4:30pm. We landed at 4:15, and by the time we had our bags and had made it through customs flying to Jacmel was not an option. This meant a last minute rental of a charter bus. Danny Pye was able to get one, and a driver to meet us at the airport.
Then we arrived in Laogane. Jonathan emailed the parents and leadership team but the short story is there was a party with parading in Laogane, and well, road passage was NOT an option. After making multiple attempts to pass through the town via different roads we concluded that the best/safest/wisest decision was to stay with some other missionary friends in Christianville. So we turned around, made a quick 10 minute drive to Christianville and after some time of prayer and quick devotions our heads hit the pillows.
At 4:45 this morning we woke our students, and by 5am we were again on the road, and we had shouts of celebrations as we passed through Laogane without any "parades" and then 2 hours later some more shouts as we passed over the bridge into Jacmel. We finally arrived, at around 7:30am Haiti time...50 hours later than our original scheduled departure from Raleigh.
NEVER have I heard of a team having SO MUCH trouble getting into Jacmel. Danny himself commented on how crazy it was, and we are all thinking that God must have some amazing things planned for the community of Jacmel and for our team. We are thrilled to be a part of it and can't wait to get started.
Since our arrival, we settled into our rooms, ate an awesome breakfast and have started preparing the packets for the soccer outreach that begins tomorrow. The students, they are astounding. It is a rare thing to have 10 teens so eager to go with the flow, so quick to be patient, so determined to trust their leaders and God. They have made the last 48 hours of hurdles easy to wade through.
The rest of the day will be doing the work that was planned for Saturday night, yesterday and today...after all we did come here for a Soccer Outreach that starts tomorrow! The students are cranking through it now with amazing speed. Our thoughts are that they are working so fast they will get three days' work done in 3 hours, we will then head out for prayer on the site of the Soccer Outreach, come back to the mission house for lunch, then spend the afternoon playing with the kids of the Haitian Children's Home and touring the land that was purchased last summer.
Thanks for praying, please keep it up. We have made it to Jacmel, but our journey is far from over. Pray for hearts that were discouraged, hearts that are overwhelmed with what they have seen, heard and smelled.