Friday, January 8, 2010

Haiti Recap - Part 2 - How We Got Here (and I'm not just talking about the airplane)

Admittedly, our trip to Haiti was prompted by external circumstances as much as by a heart for missions. That is not to say we don't have a heart for missions; in 2007, before we discovered Tori's impending and unexpected arrival in our lives, we had begun making plans to take our family on a mission trip to Mexico over Christmas break. Steve's also been to Nicaragua, and we volunteer or donate in various ways locally. But that's beside the point.

All I know is had Jer and Stacey not been there, I'm not sure this trip would've entered our minds. And I am positive that without the generous and anonymous donation we received, we would not have gone, at least not this year. Through those circumstances and much prayer it became clear that God intended for us to go on this particular trip at this time.

Even so, the decision for both Steve and me to go was not an easy one, even with the offer of the donation and the wonderful prospect of seeing Jer and Stacey and the kids.

Steve would have to miss a week of work at a busy time and opt for another week of unemployment pay since all his vacation time and then some was required to cover the mandatory shut downs this year.

And just let me say that leaving four kids behind is challenging.

Mentally challenging to combat all the "what if" thoughts involved in both parents traveling overseas.

Emotionally challenging for a stay at home mom who's used to being with her toddler 24/7.

Physically challenging to coordinate school and extracurricular schedules and childcare (seriously, I probably spent equal time planning, scheduling, organizing, and packing as we actually spent on the trip!)

Spiritually challenging to let go of control of it all and trust God.

But eventually, it all went off without a hitch (well, except the first night we were gone when Anna called our hotel in Florida, homesick for us and in sobs, and I spent the rest of the night crying with my cell phone next to me on the bed in case she called again), and we were on our way across the ocean to Haiti.

MFI's (Mission Flights International) restored DC-3 WW II plane that flew us from Florida to Haiti:

The interior of the MFI plane, including several members of our team:

First views of Haiti from the air: