watching, reading, and writing stories

Lessons from Haiti: The Hidden Joy in Waiting

on August 20, 2013

In case this is new for you, I am currently posting a series of blogs that detail my recent trip to Haiti and the lessons I learned from going there.

Haiti bus

Day 2: The Hidden Joy in Waiting

Building on the lesson I learned from traveling on the previous day, I awoke Saturday morning prepared to meet every obstacle with prayer. I was also bubbling with excitement that today we would finally make it to our destination. We arrived at the Florida airport without a problem, then found our way to an empty check-in station. We discovered that we couldn’t check in till the plane from Haiti landed, since the people who were on the plane, were the same ones who would check us in. This began one time of waiting, which would be repeated throughout the day, and in actuality, throughout the trip.

However, during this time of waiting, or delay, I was pleasantly surprised to find a source of joy. You see, in the present day culture of America, there is a lot of emphasis on instant gratification. Google, texts, YouTube, Hulu; they all let you get what you want now. Whether it’s the answer to a question, or a missed episode of a TV series, there is not a lot of value in waiting. But waiting in the airport, I found how nice it is to not be in constant motion. On this trip I purposefully left my cell phone at home, so I could engage with what was going on in the moment. And during this time of waiting, things began to happen.

Other passengers, also taking plane to Haiti, were gathering in the airport, and we began to strike up a conversation about why they were going to Haiti. We found out one family was hoping to adopt a child from the country and that they were going to visit the orphanage where the child lived. And we were also able to share with them about our purpose in going; setting up a radio station for the area, and running a soccer camp. We even prayed together, even though we had just met these people. It was a beautiful moment.

Once the plane landed, we began to move again, proceeding from check-in, through security. However, God wasn’t done with our time of waiting. He soon provided another opportunity to be still. You see, we were planning on taking this huge 80 pound box with us to Haiti. It had equipment for the radio station we were setting up. However, the airline wouldn’t allow such a heavy, and cumbersome box aboard. So a few team members stayed behind, in the check in area, to wait for a friend in Florida to pick up the box. The rest of us proceeded through security and to a Burger King for a hurried lunch.

Then, it happened; a security threat. There was a suspicious bag left at the check in area, and all of the people there, including our team members who had stayed behind, were forced to evacuate. Now our team was separated, and our flight was supposed to leave in 15 minutes! Remembering what I had learned yesterday, we all stopped to pray that God would take care of us, and bring our team together again.

We went to the gate for our plane, and were quite relieved to hear that our plane would not be taking off without our other team members. In fact, the people from Haiti who were running the check in were also stuck with everyone else who had been evacuated. So  we had another large chunk of time to just sit and wait. It was another delay. But also another opportunity. And so we began to share testimonies in our group. We shared stories of how we had started following Jesus and gotten to the point that we were now at in our lives. It was a real time of team bonding. And part way through, the few team members who we had left at check-in, appeared! God had provided a way through the airport, even with all the security block offs.

Eventually we were able to board the plane, and fly to Haiti. I had been to Haiti before, so the 3rd world country was not surprising to me. The biggest lesson I had learned that day was: God can turn times of delay and waiting into times of joy as community and relationships grow.


2 responses to “Lessons from Haiti: The Hidden Joy in Waiting

  1. Brenda says:

    I was so thankful at how our team quickly pursued praying when situations came up. Thank you also for faithfully writing in your journal every night of our trip!

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