Well, I did it. I finally booked round-trip airline tickets to Haiti. I’m still in shock.
In May 2011, I was asked to join the board of a new, unnamed mission created by someone I had only chatted with a few times on Facebook. The organization alone seemed like a dream come true, but the invitation and the things that took place shortly after truly were answered prayers.
I had always enjoyed volunteering, but grew restless with large, well-known, overpowering nonprofits. I longed to find a nonprofit that was faith-based and just starting out. I guess I have a thing for the underdogs. Shortly after I accepted the invitation, the mission was named Invest Hope. We designed a logo, set up a website, and started filing appropriate paperwork for our nonprofit status. The one stipulation that Ginny, our founder, had was for everyone on the board to visit Haiti. Having been a missionary nurse for several years, living there full time, she was very passionate about having a board of directors who would know, first hand, the good and the bad of living in the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
I knew between work, home, and finances… traveling to Haiti for me would only happen if and when the Lord allowed. Other board members visited, but no matter how often I thought about it – or even pursued it – it never worked out for me. Ginny was patient and understanding, and also trusted that I would make it in God’s timing.
There were things I did to prepare while I waited. I made the tough decision to re-home my sweet black lab, because I knew I had no one to care for him should I go to Haiti for a week. Finding him a new mom also meant I could put money that I spent on him towards paying off bills and/or saving money. I applied for a passport. I prayed. I started exercising. I even began eating foods that were a little more similar to Caribbean island cuisine; rice, black beans, avocado, coconut milk – which are, coincidentally, some of my favorites – because I thought maybe it would prevent complete belly shock.
And then it happened. Ginny’s brother has an upcoming destination wedding planned in Florida. When Ginny purchased a ticket, she sent her itinerary to me to see if I could possibly get a flight to Haiti around the same time that she returned. Not only was a flight available…. but there was a flight out of a nearby airport connecting with her exact flight. And the seat beside of her on the plane to Haiti was still available. The best part? The ticket price was the lowest I had ever seen it. About $250 cheaper! I was flying-high ecstatic!I am so grateful that God’s plan for me, for Invest Hope, and for Haiti is allowing this to happen… at just the right time. 🙂