Christmas in Haiti

Here is a trip story from April Lambiotte, a member of the team that went on the Haiti Christmas trip.

Haiti Christmas Trip

On December 25th, as Atlanta and much of the South welcomed its first white Christmas since the 1800s I was praying the snow would stop. I had dreamed of a white Christmas my whole life, but this year was different. I was worried about getting to Miami to meet my team and head to Haiti. God gave me both gifts- snow on Christmas and a life-changing second trip to Haiti.

Travel woes, health epidemics and political unrest aside, we all arrived safely in Port-au-Prince on December 26th. After a night in the city, we began our journey to Bohoc. During my first trip to Haiti in June, we stayed and worked solely in the city. The devastation was everywhere and it was hard to imagine a Haiti outside of Port-au-Prince. This time my eyes were truly opened as we drove North and experienced the beauty the Haitian landscape has to offer. It’s breathtaking. Due to a few minor travel setbacks, the four-hour drive took eight hours, but we wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Once we arrived in Bohoc, we were warmly greeted by the community before heading to the guest house. On Tuesday and Wednesday we began our day by working with several members of the community on widening a road in order to provide better access to a sugarcane field. We learned the correct way to use pick-axes and machetes, practiced our Creole and managed to depart with only a few cactus scratches. I think we all grabbed onto a piece of Haitian culture that will never be forgotten. Our afternoons were spent hosting a Vacation Bible School. Tuesday we taught on being beautifully and wonderfully made. We were greeted with a growing crowd at Wednesday’s VBS, where the children were reminded that God is our Shepherd. On Thursday we spent our entire morning at VBS. Face painting, fingernail polish, bubbles, the Christmas story, Polaroid pictures, and donkey rides all ensued. Our team wasn’t sure who had more fun, us or the kids. While in Bohoc we were also able to visit influential places in the community, including a growing agricultural project and the Haitian American Friendship Fund (HAFF).

Our team began the last day of 2010 by heading back to Port-au-Prince. Friday gave us the opportunity to drive around the city; many of our team members had never seen Port-au-Prince before. For those us who were returning, there was a visible improvement. There are still endless masses of rubble, the presidential palace looks just as devastated as it did in June, but there is hope. God has great things planned for Haiti. Tent cities, tumultuous presidential elections and cholera cannot stop our gracious Heavenly Father.

For New Years Eve we took a surprise trip to a local restaurant for pizza and ice cream. At our hotel we covered our interpreter, Ronald in silly string, wore 2011 glasses and had a ridiculous amount of fun. Only two team members made it to midnight awake, but who’s counting?

By Sunday, January 2nd, everyone had made it safely home, with Haiti on our hearts. A week later, none of us have forgotten. I know we’re all struggling with the next step. How will God use us for Haiti? For now, we’ll tell our story. It’s not a story of what we did, but of whom we met and of the overwhelming healing power of God. It’s a story about HIS people. It‘s a story about resilience. God changed my heart and my life forever, I think I need Haiti more than Haiti needs me. I want to ask you to pray for Haiti. Pray for healing in Port-au-Prince, pray for The 410 Bridge and the community of Bohoc. As we approach the year anniversary of the January 12th earthquake, pray about your part in the story.

April Lambiotte

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