Due to the unpredictable nature of life in Haiti, missionaries have a running joke that one must always have not only a “Plan A and B”, but also a “Plan C and D” as well. This past weekend has been full of backup plans. From the time Pastor Dick and Sandra Stark arrived in Cap-Haitian on Friday until today, we’ve had to regroup and replan constantly. When Dick and Sandra arrived, ALL the hotels in the whole city had been booked for a wedding. At least 600 people had converged upon this little city, most of them coming from Port-au-Prince. They took up every room available. We sat in the hotel lobby of the Roi Christophe Hotel for several hours just trying to obtain just one room for our guests. Dick and Sandra had already been up since 4:00 that morning in order to get to the Fort Lauderdale airport for their flight into Haiti. Two-and-a-half hours later their luggage arrived.
After waiting several hours for a room and wrestling much in prayer, we were finally directed to a hotel outside of town where we got our weary travelers settled in. Well…almost. They had time to rest for a little bit, then had to get ready to drive back into town for a banquet taking place for our Bible school graduates. They were up to the task, though — both Dick and Sandra shared profound words that visibly moved our students. Driving them back to their hotel outside the city at night was quite a feat, since there was no electricity in that part of town (unless you owned a generator). In spite of there being no electricity, there was plenty of traffic and we had to navigate carefully to avoid the oncoming cars and huge trucks barreling down the road at breakneck speed. After returning them safely to the hotel where they were staying, we finally arrived home and fell into bed from exhaustion.
The next morning, we were up early since graduation was at 9:00 a.m. Fortunately, in this case, the hotel was on the way to the radio station where the graduation service took place. Dick was a great sport and dressed up in a jacket and tie despite the hot weather. After assuring him that there would be air conditioning upstairs where he was to deliver the commencement address, well…you probably already guessed. There was no AC and after another long day, our weary guests were more than happy to get back to the hotel room to rest. After dropping them off, Prit and I returned home, took a nap, then went back into town again to inquire about a possible room opening, but there was still “no room in the inn.”
Yesterday, we had our Sunday morning service and returned to the Roi Christophe for lunch. There was still no room available, but fortunately another hotel had a room open up and so we were able to move Dick and Sandra back into the city. Our plan today was to take them to Cormier Plage (the beach), but Sandra has had some issues with what we call the “Haitian Happiness,” we ended up just hanging around the hotel most of the day. At this writing, Dick and Prit have gone to visit our third church plant just outside the city and if Sandra feels up to it, we will go to the beach this afternoon. Tomorrow, they plan to visit our school and see the feeding program in action. They and the wonderful members of Faith Temple Church were the catalyst in getting this program re-started.
At this point, we’re playing it by ear and whatever plan is set in motion (A, B, C, or D) will be the right plan for the moment. We rest on the Lord’s promise that he “orders our steps.” One thing is for sure — I bet Dick and Sandra will be happy to return to their normal life in Alabama where everything is a little more predictable!
Having said all this, we commend our visitors for being such good sports. We see their love for missions and for Rehoboth Ministries to suffer alongside us here in Haiti. We have immensely enjoyed their fellowship and benefited from their wise counsel towards us concerning particular areas of the ministry.