Haiti Day 3: On the Border Craziness

We are heading for the border!  “Haitians cross the Massacre river to sell wares in the Dominican Republic. There is a marked difference in the standard living on the Haitian side of the border from that of the Dominican Republic.”  We waited on the DR side for about an hour, waiting for Dimas, our Mission of Mercy host, to return with our passports and approval to cross over to Haiti.

Haiti crossing

My Journal Today:

Today we travel to Haiti with our food! We had a jammed packed schedule, so we were up early in the morning ready for the 3.5 hour drive to the border.  The road was bumpy, but the beauty of the Dominican Republic zipping by was stunning. How is it possible to express the emotions to describe the devastation crossing over the two sides – split in half by the “Massacre River.”  I was preparing my heart for what we were going to see and experience.

“Welcome back Haiti,” flashed through my mind.  I was so thrilled to return and serve the people I fell in love with on my last trip.  Crossing over the border is a traumatic experience for the heart.  Guards are yelling, children are running and screaming for attention, but it’s the garbage and filth everywhere that takes your breath away… we are in Haiti.  We had no idea that this was the moment every plan, agenda and schedule we had worked so hard on – changed.  God deviated us at the border and we were clueless.  The crazy contingency plan was already in motion.  All we knew, we were grounded for 5 hours at the border of Haiti, stuck in the bus while Dimas worked fervently to approve our humanitarian visit into Haiti.  The first three hours we talked and chatted about the day and all our plans.  We were so excited to get to the hotel and start delivering food to over 900 families.  There were 3 projects waiting with hundreds of children, families, and staff waiting to meet us and celebrate our visit. Finally, Steve aka: Jack Bauer told us we could exit the bus.  We were instantly surrounded by children.  I think the photos will speak volumes of the fun we had simply loving the “border kids!”  We played with bubbles and passed out candy.  We were so happy to see the school children in their adorable red and blue uniforms coming over to say hi, too.  We hung out together in the hot sun, by the bus for an additional 2 hours before we received the OK to drive from the border.

We continued to pray that our food would not be confiscated at the next border check point… we had been warned!

This little boy broke all our hearts.  What is his story?  His clothes were torn and literally hanging off his body.  We tried so hard to make him smile.  Becky found an outfit and helped him change into the new clothing.  We made sure he had his “old” clothes to give back to his family or guardian (or was he an orphan.)

This beautiful Haitian girl walked by our bus and gave us permission to take her photograph of her balancing act.  What is her story?

There are truly no words to describe a God inspired intervention.  A moment when God changes the path, the direction, the day to fulfill His plan.  I woke up in the morning clearly understanding our itinerary that day.  We had an organized, well-planned agenda and we were all very curious to explore the adventure that changed direction radically at the border.

God used the craziness of our truck driver (with all the food) forgetting his passport, as the tool that diverted us to the tiny village of Dos Dane in Quananenthe, Haiti.  Our truck barely made it up the dirt road, but we found our way to a church where our food would be stored safely for distribution.  We were warmly welcomed!  I have 2 fun Flip videos of our team unloading the truck with the entire village peeking at the “Gringos” with 900 bags of food!

We drove 3 hours to Cap Haitien and checked into our Hotel.  We ended the evening with Haitian munks singing “Happy Birthday” and sharing birthday cake with us.  I did not take photos out of respect, but it was quite a sight!

This is a typical “street” in Haiti villages.

Video #1 – We started unloading 900 bags of food and caused quite a stir with the neighbors.  Take a peek at the lady in the background behind the fence in the yellow dress.  Moments after I filmed this Flip video, she crawled under the truck and grabbed my leg, pulling me out in the street.  The commotion caused the children to scream, a 2 year old baby was pushed down and nearly trampled, while the lady was yanked off me and directed back to the street.  I didn’t mean to cause so much craziness!  Later, the Pastor told me she was crazy and cried all the time.

Video #2 – Pastor says hello to my bloggy readers.

Crazy Contingency Plan from Kari Gibson on Vimeo.

I’m Your Billboard Today:

My crazy readers sent me their adoption fundraising items and I promised I would wear them in Haiti.  The best part, I gave them away to special people I met along the way.  Please head over to their blogs and purchase these special projects and help a family bring home their children.

1.  You can purchase my sister-in-law’s China Adoption T shirt (I’m wearing) at her blog.  My niece comes home soon!

2.  You can purchase the beautiful Ugandan beads at Kelly’s adoption blog. I gave them away to the precious mother of my sponsored child, Rose.

Ugandan mother’s making the necklaces for income to raise their children.  You can help today!

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