Greetings from our home sweet Haiti!
Before I begin to tell you about our journey to get home to Jacmel, I want to thank each and everyone of you for your prayers, financial support and the love you have shown our family over these past several months. The journey to Haiti has been full of trials. But, in the end we are here. God has brought us this far, and we know He has great things in store. Stick with me, this is going to be a long post.
Many of you may not know this, but while Chase was setting up our house in Jacmel two weeks ago, he had a accident. While he was drilling the holes in our bedroom wall to install a small air conditioner (can I get a double praise for some AC!), the ladder he was using collapsed under him. He fell and hit the side of his face on the side of the ladder. He immediately called our teammates on the ground and they took him to a clinic. The clinic was able to call an ER doctor in the states and access the damage done to his face. They instructed him that he needed to get a CT scan done as soon he was able to get back to the states. He had one more full day of work ahead of him, and he insisted on staying to get as much done as possible. He was scheduled to fly back to the states two days later. He continued to work and flew back to the states on Wednesday March 8th. He arrived back to PE and myself around midnight.
That following morning, he had an appointment with a doctor at 8:15 a.m. After he was checked out, the doctor said he had possibly fractured some bones in his face, but was unsure until he was able to get a CT Scan done. This is were things went a little crazy. We needed him to have the scan done that same day to know the results on Friday. Our family was leaving Saturday to stay the night in order to catch our first flight out of Nashville at 6 a.m. We know it takes a village to raise a family, but I am certain it has taken an entire army to get our family back in the mission field! At this point we sent messages out for people to be praying for an opening for him to be able to get a CT Scan. With the help of our primary care doctor and the president of For Life, we got a phone call and he was in for a CT Scan.
After the scan, we waited, but we continued on with life as if we were moving to Haiti that Sunday, March 12th. So on Friday morning Chase took Bella, our dog, to the vet to her paper work filled out for her to travel with us. while he was there, I got a phone call from our doctor. I knew immediately he had done some major damage to his face. She told me he had fractured two, not one, but TWO, bones in his face and that she was able to get him to see an oral and facial surgeon to find out if he needed surgery or not, but he needed to go as soon as possible to their office.
Well, let me remind you, I am alone with PE and he is at the vet with our dog. I was in the middle of trying to eat lunch. I left my half eaten sandwich on the table, picked up my child, who was still in her pajamas might I add with lots of yummy spit up all over her, and jumped in the car to go get Bella from Chase so that he could go to the appointment. I called him to make the switch and by the time I got there he was finished at the vet. He headed to the appointment and I was headed back to his parents house with PE and Bella in tow. After a few mixtures on the road, he called me because he had left his phone charger in the car I was driving. He only had 1% left on his phone, so he had to stop and get a phone charger. Thank goodness he did, because once I got back to his parents house I realized I did not have a key to get back in. I had locked myself out! So I called Chase and we decided to meet and all go together to the appointment. Don’t worry, we did not take Bella into the doctors office. 😉
Once we arrived we patiently waited until Chase was called back. Thank the Lord, it did not take long for the surgeon to examine the scan results and determine that Chase did not need surgery! PRAISE THE LORD! He said he would be in some pain, but that over time the factors would heel themselves. We left the appointment, praised God, and then went right back to packing for the next 24 hours.
On Saturday morning Chase took 14 of our totes to Huntsville to team that was gracious enough to carrying them with them on their flights to Haiti. Once he returned we loaded the car, and headed to Nashville to get as much rest as we could before we had to leave for the airport. When we changed our flights, we did not realized we scheduled them on the same day the time would change. What a big mistake. We were able to get some sleep, but we had to be up at 3 a.m. (normally 2 a.m.) to get ready to head to the airport. Once we arrived at the airport, we knew we needed to hurry. It was PACKED! We had to go to the ticket counter because we were traveling with a pet. It took them a while, it seemed like forever, to finish checking us in. No kidding at least 45 minutes.
Once we finally got check in and check our baggage we headed to security. Of course two of my bags had to be searched. I sent Chase on his was to our gate number to tell them to hold the plane if he had to. I am going to need you to picture this… Chase is caring one rolling carryon suitcase, a carseat and its dock, a book bag, and Bella. I have PE strapped to me, a rolling carryon suitcase, a diaper bag, and a book bag. Thank goodness the second lady that had to inspect my bag was fast and sent me on my way. I attempted to put my shoes back on and failed. So I carried them through the airport. I was able to catch up with Chase (only because of all he was carrying) and we eventually saw our gate number with a line of a few people still boarding! Praise JESUS! We did not miss it! Once we got on we settled in and PE did fantastic! She ate and then slept the ENTIRE WAY! I know so many people had to have been praying for her, because she was amazing!
We landed in Miami and had several hours to spare… or so we thought. We found a cart for all of our things, and headed to the lounge (THANK YOU DAVID). We were able to lay a blanket down and let PE stretch her legs, we were able to get some breakfast and some much needed down time.
I eventually took PE for a walk and that is when Chase called me panicked to get back over where he was because our plane was about to remove all of our luggage and leave us. Well, ladies and gentlemen, IPhones are great… but they do not always act as the should. Neither one of our phones switched to Eastern Time Zone and both of us failed to check to make sure the time on our phones were correct. So we grabbed EVERYTHING again and went as fast as we could to our gate. It was SO far away, I was praying the entire way there that the plane would not leave us. As we made it to the gate I saw an employee look at me and then point to the plane. I nodded and she opened the door. We scrounged up our passports, she scanned them and off we went. We were THOSE people. The absolute last people to get on the plane with a 5 month old AND a dog. We are a special kind of crazy, there I said it! haha… PE did great again. Same situation, ate and then slept the entire way.
Once we arrived in Haiti things started to look up. We were taken to the front all of the customs lines thanks to PE. The sweet ladies apparently saw how exhausted we looked (not to mention Chases black eye) and took complete care of us. We did not wait at all! How great is that?! Once we made it through customs we were able to start gathering all of our luggage. The team that was brining 14 of our totes had arrived at the perfect time. Praise be to God again, ALL of our luggage made it! We made friends with one of the baggage guys and they helped us through customs with hardly any harassing from the boarder officers for having so much stuff.
When we got outside we (PE, Bella and I) hung out with the team while Chase and the other men loaded the truck. The teams driver drove us to our hotel and headed back to get the team to take them to Jacmel. Once we arrived we quickly found ourselves in a pickle. They saw Bella and immediately refused us a room. We had already paid in full, but they would not allow us to stay there. We both tried talking to them, but they would not budge. We could not reach anyone on their phones. We were stuck for over an hour with out anywhere to go. We both were praying for God to provide somewhere for us to stay.
I was sitting outside with PE, Bella and our luggage while Chase was trying one last time to negotiate with the people when a car full of Americans pulled up. They took a picture of their group and I made small talk with them. Through the small talk I realized one of the Americans lived in Haiti. I quickly asked him if he knew of anywhere for us to stay the night with a small dog. One of the girls in the group made a quick remark that she knew a great guest house about 40 minutes away and the guy smiled. He asked what our plans were for the next day. I told him we had a flight at 11 a.m. and he said he would wait to see if the hotel was going to budge. They did not. Chase came back outside and I introduced the man and him. He then proceeded to tell us him and his wife have a guest house about 40 minutes away that we were welcome to stay at and that he would drive us to the airport the next morning! Say WHAT?! He just happened to own a guest house! How crazy is that! God is awesome! He quoted us the price and we of course happily agreed strapped PE’s carseat in and loaded up in his Jeep. Off we went!
What a fantastic connection we made with him and his wife. They are a great couple that started a guest house as a ministry. What a blessing their ministry was to us! They have lived in country for three years and have wealth of knowledge on all things Haitian culture. We stayed the night, PE did surprisingly well for her first night of no air-conditioning. The next morning we headed back to Port-au-Prince, caught our quick 15 minute flight to Jacmel. I had so much anticipation to get home… I was SO happy when I finally saw the coast line! We off loaded the plane, grabbed a cart, loaded our luggage and headed to the truck. One last mix up of course… as Chase was pushing our luggage down the slopped sidewalk, it ALL tipped over! Yikes! Thank goodness some sweet people were around to help him. Like I said early on, it has literally taken an army, an army of prayer warriors that is, to get us home! We are all so thankful to be home!
Current Prayer Requests:
For us to stay focused on sharing the Gospel.
For us to learn the language quickly.
For us to get settled into our house.
For safety and heeling for Chase as he continues to work on our house.
For all of us to stay healthy, especially PE.
Thank you for loving us so well! We sure do love you all!