A blog written by: Ashley Wiebe and Holly Czepek
On April 14th, we set our alarms for 3:30 a.m. to catch a plane that would start our journey into a country recently rocked by a violent earthquake. When we landed in Port Au Prince, Haiti, the first thing we had to learn was how to adjust to the temperature. Our bodies had quite a shock as they transfered from chilling in a refrigerator to cooking in an oven. On our journey to the Mission of Hope, we soon discovered that our bodies could sweat in more places than we could count.
The next few days were spent learning the definition of hard work. We tried to position ourselves in the areas we could be most effective. We quickly learned that we didn't have the muscles to carry large bags of cement mix, but we were skilled at using a trowel to level the cement into a porch. We didn't have the strength to push a wheelbarrow full of concrete, but we could organize a tent full of supplies. Our tools ranged from a shovel to a sewing needle, and from a paint brush to a drill in under a week.
While being in Haiti, we have had the blessing of staying with Diana in her house along with her Opa and brother. This is very convenient, but at times can be quite challenging. We have learned to be patient with each other while waiting for our turn in the nice, cool, refreshing shower, and sharing close quarters with one another. We have also learned patience with team leaders and others while working on the job site.
What we have also learned while being here is the culture difference. We had a chance to experience a true Haitian market recently, and we learned to tolerate the dust, smell, and noise that comes with it. The language barrier can be challenging at times, but we have learned to communicate with one another by using body language. On Sunday, we attended the morning service at the Church of Hope. We realized that even though we have culture differences we still worship the same amazing God.
We have learned a lot in this past week, but the most important thing we have learned is that we wouldn't be able to do any of it without the grace of God! He is the one working in Haiti and we are merely his tools to help do the job.
Thank you for all your prayers. Please pray that our team can continue to do the work that is needed, and that we would all stay safe, healthy and willing to work.
We will leave you with a creole phrase we have learned: Nou Renmen Ayiti! (We Love Haiti)