Today we arrived in Haiti. According to our pilot, visibility was eight miles and I believed him. As the plane fell closer and closer to earth you could see the sprawling city of Port-au-Prince, beginning near the sea and extending all the way up the mountains which surround it. The first thing you notice upon stepping out of the airport is the heat. Not simply the temperature, but how the warmth surrounds you and falls upon your skin.
Our group is seven in total, including Martha and I. We immediately went to the World Concern office here in Port-Au-Prince and said hello to our colleagues and friends. Since beginning this journey with World Concern, Martha and I have felt as though we are part of a family. This feeling was affirmed as our Haitian brothers and sisters warmly welcomed us today. After greetings and a tour of the formidable three story office building, we headed out to meet some families in the city who have had houses rebuilt with the help of World Concern.
This was a truly humbling afternoon.
We met Elias & Louis whose house was completely destroyed by the earthquake in January 2010. They, along with their seven children, were suddenly homeless. This family, which numbers twelve in all, found themselves hopping around from one temporary living situation to the other. After nearly a year and a half of being on the move, World Concern helped Elias & Louis rebuild their home on the small piece of land where their former home was. They and their family could finally return home. Elias explained that since receiving their new home, his family’s situation has greatly improved compared to what it was like shortly after the earthquake.
Wow. Life is not perfect for Elias and his family but he is the first to acknowledge that God has protected his family.
We enjoyed the few moments we had with Elias & Louis so much. This couple, along with the World Concern Haiti staff, has already showed us the beauty and resilience of the Haitian people we have read so much about. At the end of our first day in Haiti we are exhausted but so thankful to be here.