|Fort Lauderdale before flying to Haiti.|
We left for the airport early on Wednesday because traffic in Port au Prince can be very bad. As it worked out, we were 3.5 hours early for our flight – no traffic.
While waiting we met some people from the US who started a ministry about an hour out of Pap with a feeding program and clean water being put in, etc. They were bound for Miami 45 minutes after our flight. They asked what I thought of the people, to which I replied, “I fell in love with them.” She replied, “How can you not?”
Our flight was “delayed” by 10 minutes but a short while after arrival it was obvious we were not leaving any time soon as they stated “technical difficulties.” Those of you who can appreciate how much LOVE to fly can imagine how ready I was to get on that airplane, so when a young man told me the flight was canceled, and the airport closed overnight, Dave called Pastor Calixte to come and get us. I was somewhat relieved to not get on THAT plane!
Thank God I asked more questions to discover that even though our flight was canceled, the Miami flight was delaying take off for us to get on board. Everything was being spoken in Creole! They would get us taxis to Fort Lauderdale. Great, but our flight only had 2.5 hours between and I doubted we would make.
While I was arranging for the flight change Dave called and canceled our flight to Plattsburgh with Spirit Air. The problem was – Spirit doesn’t fly daily and we we would stranded until Friday and the price had tripled, not to mention cancellation fees. Fitzroy would also miss his flight to Jamaica most likely, but we waited to cancel that.
We arrived in Miami and went through customs where I was asked, “Did you ever report your Passport stolen?” No I replied, I have not even used it in 7 years….” “I did not ask you that, I asked you if you ever reported it stolen?” The friendly demeanor had changed somewhat and I was feeling like a criminal. Repeating the question several times, David’s passport was returned to him as I was told, “Stand by the wall until someone comes to get you.”
|Our little friend!|
Meanwhile, Fitzroy has gone through customs and is leaving the area ( you have to) without any minutes on his cell phone. I was finally retrived from my wall side location and taken into a room with about 75 people waiting. “You’re kidding me, right? I’m a US citizen!” I say to my escort as we enter the room. “Don’t worry ma’m, US citizens get pushed to the front of the line.” Wow, I am really feeling badly for the rest.
As time goes by I realize that Fitzroy is…Where? So I suggest that Dave leave to find him and I will be OK. (My imagination was playing out what kind of detainment center they had for “alleged” US citizens, and thankful that I had just left Haiti with peace and patience beyond measure. What’s a night in jail? No biggie.)
Dave was now going to have to fill out paperwork to leave me, so they said I was about to be taken back. They were right, and as soon as Dave finished filling it out, we were called. A very nice young man said he did not know what everyone was freaking out over, but he could see that a number was transposed on someone else who HAD reported a passport stolen, but that I could go and he would call Washington to get it straightened out.
|L to R. Pastor Solange (orphanage founder) Pastor Daniel & Fitzroy|
Where is Fitzroy? Several pages and wandering the airport later I see the flash of his brightly colored orange vest. We had declined American Airlines ride to Fort Lauderdale once they had informed us that since we were not booked all the way with them, (“Um, you don’t fly to Plattsburgh, NY!!!) they would not refund us anything for our missed flights.
The detainment with customs meant Fitzroy had missed his flight now for sure, as well.
I thought, surely we can fly out of Miami as easily as FL, and being exhausted we decided to get a hotel. All the hotels are expensive close to the airport and knowing that I had to get back to a room to google flights, we just chose a Best Western and went. “Almost $200 per night? Seriously?” And we needed two rooms.
On to booking flights – now I discover that Fort Lauderdale flights, are way less expensive than the airfare out of Miami. We are pretty hungry at the point so Dave walks to the Burger King while I book flights. “What, the local fast food all closed at 10 or 11? Really?”
I discover we need to take a TAXI to Fort Lauderdale and fly out of there or pay 3X the price of airfare.
By this time we are out about $1600 in hotel and last minute booked flights .I book the flights, and pay extra to leave later in the day (we could not get up at 3 a.m.!) disapointed that Dave and I can’t get seats together on the last leg. Big deal, I just left Haiti where the hearts are thankful in all matters.
Next morning is a quick trip to the airport (thank you Lord, no traffic this time of day) and we leave Fitzroy at Air Jamaica, and head for our flight. Jet Blue is our favorite and the flight from Fort Lauderdale to JFK is smooth. While waiting at the gate at JFK, I tell Dave, “I want to go and see if anyone cancelled to get a seat together.” “Looks like a full flight, I doubt it” he replies. “God has been blessing us, I am going to see if we get another blessing.”
At the gate I ask the women if anyone has canceled because I was hoping to sit with my husband. She replies that she does not have “two seats together anywhere on the plane.” The thought flashes through my mind that Dave would leave it at that, but I say, “I don’t need two together, I just need one next to 18c or 15e.” She stops typing and looks up at me smiling and says, I just had someone switch a seat from 18!” I reply, “God has been blessing us. He is a good God.” (Be instant in season and out of season)
I go back to Dave laughing, dancing and kissing him and he is laughing and saying, “I don’t believe it” The woman across the row asks me, “Are you two newlyweds?” I explain that we have 8 kids and 8 grand-kids, to which she replies, “You act like newlyweds.” So I jokingly told her to watch more closely that I, “act like a newlywed, he does not!”
Kacey and Joy were there to meet us at the airport, but by then Dave was feeling really, really sick from the large french fry he had eaten (I warned him!) so the ride home was a bit rough.
While in Miami I found out that they found my lost bag at the airport in Pap (a miracle) and that Dave was leaving for Germany for 4 months! “Seriously God, does everything have to be a mixed blessing?” I ask Him with a smile on my face.
Today (Saturday) Dave gave one week’s notice at IBM, and we are both rested and waiting to see what God will do next. Our cows are leaving in a week and we have cash in hand – enough to pay off the extra credit card debt we got in Miami! God provided 100% for the trip, and though our financial “trials” are not yet over, we are confident that we are in His will, and He is full control. We may never own a home again, but our Father knows what we have need of.
|Dave with our friend Jeff. (feeling washed out)|
Moments of Laughter:
Dave tans in the summer but this is the north country – need I say more? In Haiti he looked in the tiny mirror a couple of times, or at pictures of himself with others and would ask me, “Do I look washed out to you? I look really white” I laughed every time and reminded him that we are surrounded by black people so of course we look “really white.” “We ARE REALLY white!”
We also laughed over how often we knew people did not understand what we had said, but they would reply, “OK” and how I found myself doing the same thing a couple of times; but they often caught me as well and said so, and we would have a good laugh. What did I just agree to??? I will not repeat what had transpired here!
Once I was speaking to Pastor Joseph about his upcoming wedding that we that we were invited to attend (and did). I was trying to ask him if the wedding would be “big wedding or a small wedding” complete with hand gestures to explain myself. Several exchanges later he replied, also with hand gestures, “No, my wife, she is big.” It was precious.
I was also reminded today as I read thank you notes from the conference attendees, how Pastor Daniel was so used to watching me closely, and translating with expression and my every word, that sometimes he translated my creole into Creole, or translated English into English. The people would always get a good laugh over that!
Today I read, “Before the seminary I was sad, I was very sad,” and I recalled Daniel reading it to me when we were working on translations in Haiti. It was already in English and so he read it in English and then stated, “They are saying they were very, very, sad.” To which I burst out laughing and replied, “Really, Daniel, were they sad?” as he realized what he had done and we both had a good laugh.
And of course I will never forget David capitalizing on having 8 children and showing off with macho gestures to get the people laughing. Who ever thinks Dave is shy has not seen him in ACTION! Oh, my!
|Pastor Simone – Port au Prince church of 3,000+|
In reading all the thank you’s I am also reminded how they are all written to “Pastor David and his wife.” God is keeping me humble – I get ordained, do all the work, all the writing, and all the teaching, and Dave gets the glory. Next to God, there is no one who deserves it more than Dave. As the people were so blessed when they realized the personal and financial sacrifices Dave makes for me to be in missions. Some day David, we will have that anniversary on the beach, sipping cool drinks while I fan you. I just wont promise you where!!
|Some day David ….Some day…The beaches are beautiful in Haiti.|
Thank you David, I love you, and Jesus loves you too.
Jezi renmen nou.