Joint Canada-US Team Arrives in Haiti

Loading the bus--a very nice one.

Loading the bus–a very nice one.

All aboard!

All aboard!

Top: Bins and cases waiting to be sorted; sorting the tools. Bottom: two tables were needed to accomodate the entire work team.

Top: Bins and cases waiting to be sorted; sorting the tools. Bottom: two tables were needed to accomodate the entire work team.

A team consisting of UBs from Canada and from King Street UB church in Chambersburg, Pa., arrived yesterday (January 25) in Haiti. This is a construction team which will work through Monday, February 4, on building a new church in Limbe, in northern Haiti. Although Canadian teams have been to Haiti many times through the years, Limbe is new to them.

A medical team will come to Haiti February 5-12. They will be joined by three ladies from Mission of Hope and Dr. Robinson Germain, a Haitian doctor. This team will go to Les Cayes, in the south, to hold several medical clinics.

Joan Sider (right), from the UB church in Toronto, has visited Haiti numerous times, and will participate on both of these teams. And, as she always does, she will send back regular reports. Here are excerpts from her report on Friday, January 25.

We have arrived–safe and sound with all 24 pieces of luggage. We arrived earlier in Port Au Prince than we thought we would. We left Toronto with a temperature of minus 10, and came to one of 32 celcius–warm indeed, but pleasant.

There was a lot more scrutiny with the luggage this trip. When we picked up the bags off the carousel, we noticed several bins had been opened and inspected; they had a tape around the bin saying it had been opened for inspection. I guess that happened in New York. Customs officials here in Haiti opened up a number more. We’re not sure if they were looking for anything specific. One did ask if we had any drugs.

We need to pray now that the next team’s meds all get through without any difficulty.

The airport is amazing–the changes made since even December when I came with Hermmy are quite remarkable. They are truly trying to make it a first class airport. There are still many porters who all want to help you–and get your tip–but even that is better organized.

Our American friends came in earlier than we did and were here waiting to meet us.

The big task of sorting all the materials we brought was next on the agenda. Everyone pitched in, and all is now in readiness for tomorrow’s journey up to Limbe. It is a 6-8 hours trip. We know the highway up as far as Gonaives is good.

I tried out my Magic Jack, a device that connects to my computer and allows me to call anywhere in the US or Canada for free. Well, it costs $29 per year. I’ve talked with two people. The connection wasn’t too bad. It depends on the strength of the internet coming in.

We had a time of sharing before going off to our various rooms and bed. It was good to begin to know each other better. Already I sense unity amongst us. We are even able to make our American friends understand our “about” and “eh.”

Kyle Bushre (right), pastor of Outreach and Missions at King Street Church (Chambersburg, Pa.), is one of those Americans whom Joan referred to. He wrote on Facebook on Friday, Jan. 25: “The Haiti Team is safely in Port au Prince. Tomorrow we drive north along the coast and through the mountains to Limbe. The Canadians are great, and I am enjoying their accent, eh. Should be a good week.”

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