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Lessons from Haiti: A day of frustrations

on August 19, 2013

So I’ve decided to do a series of blog posts about my mission trip to Haiti. I know it’s not what I usually write about on this blog, but I figure I can tell some fun stories, and who knows, it may turn into a novel or book someday. I’m going to break up each day of the trip into a blog post and hopefully come up with one lesson that I learned on each day of the trip.

So feel free to leave comments, suggestions, or any of your own stories or lessons you’ve learned from your own adventures.

Haiti airport

Day 1: A Day of Frustrations

Early Friday morning I set off to the airport to meet the group of 15 people headed for Haiti. But right off the bat, I was hit with distractions, or frustrations really. I hadn’t slept well the night before the trip, or really the whole week leading up to it. In addition, my sister had woken me up, due to a panic attack in the middle of the night. So I was… not rested. In addition, I’m a very time-oriented person, so when I was unable to get to the airport at 8:00 am, and in fact was the last of the group to arrive, I found my attitude about the trip as a whole taking a turn for the worse.

After hugging loved ones goodbye, we set off to check in at the baggage check. And then another unforeseen event occurred, our connecting flight to Florida, leaving from Dallas, was said to be delayed and we were told we would have to take a later flight. This would mean that instead of getting into Florida in time for some dinner and chill time, we wouldn’t get in till 9:30, and probably wouldn’t get to our hotel till after 10pm.

This frustrating stream of events was getting under my skin, but I took a minute to relax and reminded myself that none of this should be unexpected. Mission trips are rarely a smooth process. I released my anger to God and went on with the group, passing through security and making it safely to Dallas for our connecting flight.

When we landed in Dallas, I was surprised and excited to find out that the original flight we were supposed to take was not delayed after all and that our group was in the process of being transferred back to our original flight. Things were looking up, but I wasn’t taking any chances. I grabbed some girls from our group and just stopped to pray. In the middle of the airport we gave the whole situation into the Lord’s hands, and asked Him to show up.

After that moment, I stopped worrying. And God did show up! Our flight was switched without any more hassle, and our whole group made it to Florida in good spirits.

However, the day was not over, and God provided one more lesson in providence before it came to an end. I know it sounds a little weird for a group on a “mission trip” to go out to a fancy restaurant, but we did. We went to the Cheesecake Factory of all places. I’d only been once before in my life, so this was a big treat. However, going to any restaurant on a Friday night with 15 people means a long wait. And I mean a LONG wait. We were told it would take about an hour, but when that hour turned into two hours, all of us were experiencing some impatience.

Now I know this is a mission trip, and I should be expecting the unexpected, but we were still in America. We weren’t in Haiti at all, and this was difficult. We were all starving by this point, one team member even said he was close to “angry bear mode.” But still we were waiting. I started getting anxious thoughts about not getting enough rest for the morning, or maybe even the restaurant closing before we could get something to eat.

And that’s when we did it, finally… it really shouldn’t have taken us this long. We prayed. We asked God to open up the tables so we could eat. It’s amazing what God will do, once you actually stop to ask Him for something. Within minutes the tables were clear and we were being seated.

And that’s the lesson I learned from day 1: Come to God with your problems, and don’t try to handle them alone. Suddenly you’ll find that your frustrations will become glimpses of God at work.


2 responses to “Lessons from Haiti: A day of frustrations

  1. Kesher International Missions says:

    So true! I wrote about the same discovery in a trip devotion…
    “Human plans, no matter how wise or well-advised, cannot stand against the Lord.” (Proverbs 21:30 NLT) Seek God to provide the breakthrough for the obstruction or the redeployment plan for His greater purpose. Excited to read your next installment of your faith journey!

  2. lmhill says:

    That’s so cool that God taught you the same thing! He really does know best. And thanks for reading!

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