Mission in Haiti Continues to Change My Heart
The sheer joy and happiness on the people of Canaan tore at my heart as we loaded back up in the van to leave.
As we loaded up I had a window seat that happened to already be open. While waiting I felt a slight tap on my arm that was hanging out the window. I looked and saw the biggest smile hiding behind a soccer ball. It was the young boy that had won the ball for reciting Psalms 23 the day before. Over the noise of talking and children playing I heard him say in very clear English “Thank you for my ball, thank you for coming.” What was left of my heart melted and stayed in Canaan as the van pulled away.
We headed out of the mountains of Canaan in a different direction as we had some new passengers on-board. The pastor’s family rode with us back to the pastor’s house quite a distance away. Between the extra people and our bags, and left over food it was a pretty tight fit and heavy load. Our driver did his best to maneuver the van through the rough terrain. At one point we had to get out of the van so it could make it up a steep hill.
Normally this kind of thing would have been concerning, in Haiti on mission it is part of everyday life.
Once we made it down the mountain to the Pastor’s house, he invited us inside like we were family. We spent a few minutes with them and then loaded back up in the van. This time only the pastor joined us as he needed a ride to a class that he was supposed to attend near where we were staying.
On the way we had the chance to see more of the local culture and scenery of Port-au-Prince. We also had an unplanned stop along the way that gave us the opportunity to get to ride in our first tap tap. A Tap tap is Haiti’s form of public transportation. “Tap taps are gaily painted buses or pick-up trucks that serve as share taxis in Haiti. ” Picture a pickup truck with modified rails, a bench seat (more like a 2*6) along both sides of the bed and a raised open topper. Usually these trucks are also painted in bright colors with local artwork. In the back of the truck is the guy you pay for the ride (more on that later).
We get to ride in a tap tap!!
When we returned to the mission house we had a little bit of time to spare before dinner. Some of the group took that opportunity to clean up, take much-needed naps or simply reflect. Still sleep deprived I tried to nap but after a brief power outage it became obvious sleep once again was not on my agenda. I took this time to get to know some of the members of the team that were also awake.
Our conversations were interrupted with the dinner bell, if you didn’t respond the bell would continue. We headed downstairs to feast on another culinary adventure that the house staff created. The ice-cold bottled Cokes tasted all the more delicious. It was hot in the house, with the air conditioners not working (the power outage had temporarily disabled the generators).
After dinner we got prepared to go to church again. This time church was going to be in Philadelphia, Haiti at our translator Tony’s church.
About Charles Johnston
Charles is a Christian, husband and father of fur-kids who shares his walk with others in hopes to help other's along the way.