The May Haiti team led by Derek Hazelet is kicking off a Summer on mission. We will be with our Haitian friends for a total of seven weeks over the course of the Summer. Please pray with us as we invest in the children and the community in which they live. Check out the latest update from the team below!
May 27, 2012 – Day 1
By Tami Heim
Sometimes an image gets stuck to your heart and you know as soon you see it the memory of it will never leave you.
The 4:30 AM appointment to gather at Nashville International Airport arrives and so does the team of 18, each one a little groggy, but ready to serve. There’s a long day of travel ahead and I sense the team is up for the challenge. Derek Hazelet has masterfully planned the trip and it looks as though everyone has followed through on his or her delegated pre-trip assignment.
Baggage is carefully taped in orange and yellow duck tape. Many place the tape over the remnants of colored tape from trips gone by, but Casey Ball, Syndey Conquest, Bronte Deno, and Jaycee Polk adhere theirs with all the intentionality that comes from a person’s very first trip to Haiti. I smile. I know what will happen when they get there. I’m certain this trip will be the first of many.
All things go as planned, but one change brings us very good news. It turns out flights are altered and the whole team can now look forward to spending our first night in Jeremie – together. We thank God for the news and this blessing.
Dou Dou meets us at baggage claim in Port-au-Prince and works us through the crowd. Forever our hero, Dou Dou ushers us to our next flight, waves goodbye, and promises to see us around midnight. Once again he single-handedly drives our luggage 110 miles on roads and terrain that will take him at least 8-10 hours to conquer.
The guesthouse is a welcome sight. We unload and I hurry to distribute letters from my husband, Dale, to the local children who cling by the fence around our complex. They are thrilled and each one reads his or her letter out loud. The whole team finally settles in, prepares for dinner, and is happy to attend Sunday evening services with the children of Jeremie.
It’s almost dark when the bus makes it up the steep hill. The kids know the sound and many leave the service to come and greet us. There’s nothing like the expressions of children when they see it’s you and their uninhibited sounds of utter delight. Kids crowd the entrance to the bus. Next comes lot’s of hugs, lots of kisses, and lots of little arms reaching up eager to be scooped up for a big face-to-face cuddle. No one resists them.
Beatrice finds me. She is growing into a stunning young girl. I can’t believe how quickly she’s changed in just two years. She takes my breath away and in an instant, she perfectly fills my wide-open arms.
I give her a twirl and kiss both cheeks. I look into her big brown eyes and tell her softly and intently her Momma Cindy and Poppa Trey love and long to see her. I explain slowly how they think of her every minute of every day and ache to have her with them. In this sacred moment, I am the messenger. I experience this young girl’s joy made absolutely complete as soon as I let her know, Momma Cindy is coming soon. July. Momma Cindy is coming to be with you in July.
Beatrice squeezes me as tightly as she possibly can and then bursts into dance. She sings and dances off into the night. I watch her image cast against a Haitian moonlit sky and I weep.
I think about the words of a book I read on the flight to Miami earlier this day.
The motive of a righteous heart is not to get away with anything.
The motive of a righteous heart is to be loved and to love.
~ Brian McNicol, The Cure
This is God’s gift to me on our first day and it’s one I’ll hold forever. Before I go to sleep, I give thanks to my loving Father. I praise Him for Cindy and Trey Emerson and their decision to obey God and make Beatrice their own. I ask Him to remove the obstacles that keep them apart and to bring her safely to them in His good and perfect time. I ask Him to do the same for every adoptive parent waiting. And finally, I thank Him for the privilege of being here and allowing me to share the moment Beatrice danced her dance of being loved and loving in the moonlight.