So much has taken place since my last writing! Pastor Dick and Roxy Iverson were our first-time special guests to Haiti and brought much hope and encouragement to our souls. It was a very rich time as Pastor Dick shared stories with our top leaders of his years in the pastorate. ”You need to love what God loves”, he said and this still resounds in my own spirit. Afterwards, the floor was opened for a Q&A time. Our leaders were full of questions and we finally had to call an end to the session due to the time factor. Pastor Dick also shared with the professors and graduates of our Bible institute during a special banquet and then on Saturday he brought the commencement message to the graduates of our eighth promotion. What a busy week we had! Dick and Roxy visited our feeding program and our second church plant and school in Belle-Hôtesse. We did manage to steal away to a beach resort after the graduation ceremony for some much-needed R&R. On Sunday, Pastor Dick ministered in a morning and evening service of two different church plants. We are so grateful for the rich deposit both he and Roxy left with us.
However….. as well as our best-laid plans may be, one can never predict what can happen in Haiti. Last Monday (June 6), we deposited Dick, Roxy, and John at the airport. Returning home we thanked the Lord for a smooth, carefree week. Not long after we arrived, however, we received a phone call from John. ”You have to come pick us up. There’s a fissure in the runway and American Airlines won’t be landing until it’s repaired” – which presumably meant Friday. Upon John and the Iversons’ return, we began to brainstorm as to how we could get out of Haiti in time to make all our connecting flights.
The result was to take a 6 hr. bus ride from Cap-Haitian to Santiago (Dominican Republic) at 8:00 o’clock the following morning and pray that we would reach the airport in time to fly to Miami. After finally crossing the border, passing six military checkpoints and arriving to the bus station, we hurriedly unloaded our suitcases. Fortunately, the bus driver had called ahead for two taxis which promptly arrived just after we did. Next, came a harrowing ride across town at breakneck speed. Most of the time, I kept my eyes on the floorboard instead of the guy’s bumper in front of us. I also strove to keep my mind off of what could happen if the driver in front of us decided to tap his brakes!
Upon our arrival, the Adams party was already being paged over the intercom. We rushed through the confirmation of tickets and passports and ran inside to get through the final check before boarding the plane. Our party of five was whisked through and waved on – all except for me. The man at the desk waved me back to a man at another desk who questioned me in Spanish. Pointing to my passport, he asked, ”Haiti? Today?” ”Yes, Haiti, today,” I said. He pointed to a stamp on my passport shaking his head ”No.” I understood only enough of his Spanish to realize I was in trouble. Typing into his computer, he printed out several sheets of paper. After what seemed like an eternity, he handed them to me waving me on to the fellow at the last desk only to be redirected to another young man who had no idea what to do. By this time, I was nearing panic mode as I watched the rest of my party disappear behind the doors just before me. Finally, the man who printed out the papers came and told the man at the final desk to let me through and I was waved on through the line. Whew!
You can imagine our relief as our plane climbed into the air heading for the beautiful Florida shore. Our guests, despite having been rerouted, were real troopers through it all and decided to spend the night at the Miami Airport Hotel before flying on to Portland, Oregon, the next morning. We thanked them profusely for their visit to Haiti. We also said our goodbyes to John who would be taking a road trip from Miami to Raleigh to visit friends along the way.
Our layover of four hours before flying into Raleigh stretched into almost five hours due to maintenance problems with the plane. By the time my sister-in-law picked us up at the Raleigh-Durham airport, we were utterly exhausted. After much, much sleep, we are finally revived.
Who would have guessed that a fissure in the runway of the Cap-Haitian airport would have redirected our plans and sent us on such a mad chase to our destination? Such is life in Haiti and the best-laid plans can be interrupted at a moment’s notice. Needless to say, we are delighted to be back on North Carolina soil and look forward to seeing family and friends – and you!