Our trip to St. Marc yesterday afternoon proved to be an interesting one and rather nerve racking for our Mariah. We had security, Herve, with us and thankful we did.
First stop in St. Marc was at a bank I did not know to pay for our new internet services. It had a long line – which in Haiti moves slower than slow. I had Mariah stand in one line while I took the second one in hopes of getting finished sooner. Eventually we rejoined Herve and off to our own Sogebank. I saw a tricycle for sale on the road close to the bank. Put Mariah, with Herve’s help in charge of checking it over, bargaining for a good price, while I went into the bank. The bank was filled to capacity and lines did not appear to be moving. Left there, gave Herve money to buy the tricycle for our little ones – Karena, Jofky and Anne. Mariah and I walked to wood store to purchase a lot of 2x4s, 1x4s and 1x6s for Bob’s group to use when they arrive on 20th of this month. Then back to our bank to get some badly needed money. Yikes the lines were still very long and moving at the same pace as molasses would trying to go up the mountain in Banff in winter. Mariah and I regretted we had not brought books with us. After 1 1/2 hours there we headed to a supermarket. We shopped as fast as we could so we could head for home. Our truck was filled to capacity and then some. Both Herve and Mariah sat with boxes of supplies in their laps.
|Returning from St Marc. Truck filled with boxes of groceries|
We entered Pont Sonde to somewhat of a mess – more like a huge mess that could be dangerous. A lot of broken glass on the road – looked like a lot of bottles had been thrown, many bullet casings on the road too – from a gun like HATS has – a douze. Lots of armed UN troops, and armed Haitian Riot police moving around. Something was very wrong and I knew I was not going to be able to get through and I could not go back. I did what I knew I should. I pulled to the side of the road, locked the truck doors, sat tight and prayed. Well actually I did something else – I took some photos, most were taken through the windshield, so not as clear as they could be. After we were there for awhile I decided I needed to call Jessie and Seth and let them know we had no idea where we would be back. There was a problem with my calling them. My telephone could not be found in the vehicle despite Mariah, Herve and myself all searching thoroughly. I asked Mariah to call my phone number so we could hear it if it had fallen inside the truck. Oops, she said, I don’t have enough charge on my phone to call your phone. Oops is right! Okay, Herve, please dial my phone. Another oops. Herve said he did not have any funds on his phone to call mine. Yikes. What a pickle. Trapped in a not good situation with two phones that could not be used. We felt my phone had to be at the grocery store in St. Mark. More prayer to ask God to have the right person find it and for them to keep it for us.
|Entering Pont Sonde|
Herve decided it was safe enough for him to leave the vehicle and go back a short distance to purchase a phone card for his phone. The blocked road, action, etc was ahead of us, not behind. Mariah wisely decided it would be safer for her to stick with Herve than in the vehicle with me. So off Herve goes with Mariah stuck to him. I locked the doors, watched everything around me and prayed. Soon I saw two half dressed, and very obviously angry young men, coming towards my truck. One had two very big rocks in his hands. He stopped in front of my truck and defiantly glared at me. He was very angry and looked like he wanted to take his anger out on someone and that someone could be me. I was there without Herve and Mariah but I was not alone. God was there with me. In fact I was glad Mariah was not there to see it. I continued to quietly talk to God. Then the other angry looking young man without any rocks spoke to his friend and pointed out the UN police were watching and coming towards my truck. He dropped the rocks and they both quickly disappeared.
|Does not look good ahead|
|Two UN police – American & one Haitian riot police|
|Ready for more action|
|Sitting, watching, praying|
|UN Troops heading into the problem area|
Herve and Mariah returned with phone card for Herve’s phone. I found a phone number on the grocery bill I had just paid and we called the store in St. Marc. Yes, my phone was in his hands and he would hold it for my return. Things seemed to be setting down around our vehicle and I managed to turn around and head back to St. Marc to get my phone. We were soon back in Pont Sonde again. No sign of the UN or police now, but road still blocked with lots of angry people rocking a huge truck, its windshield had been broken and looked like it had sustained lots of other damage. I cautiously drove towards it – all the while speaking quietly with Herve. We decided to drive slowly towards what was happening, and towards home and see if I would be allowed to pass. Poor Mariah was scared. I understood it as it was her first experience of this kind. She kept saying “No Grandma, No. Don’t go. Go back, please. Stay here until things are better. They can turn and do to our truck what they are doing to that bigger one. Gramma, don’t drive any further, please. I am scared. ”
I, however, felt to drive on slowly. I felt God was going to get us through. (There have been many times, in similar situations, that I have felt to not go any further. Times when I have felt to turn around and go in the other direction and take refuge elsewhere.) Yesterday I felt to drive on very slowly and God did take us through without mishap. Some people were obviously angry with me for trying to get through the mob and they showed it. Two people, however, recognized me and started to wave me through and told others to let me pass through them.
We did and when we were past the mess we thanked and praised God for his protection as we drove quickly home to the mission compound.
All in all, it was a good experience for Mariah. Hearing about things like this, but never experiencing it, tends to make some people careless and think things like this does not really happen and would never happen to them. I have more experiences than I wish to remember.
One more thing. I have a question for my precious sister, Sandra. Did you feel your feet being tickled some times during our morning devotions recently while you were here?? This was hiding in the area where you often sat. Not to worry. Seth took care of it for you.
Thanks again to all of you. Remember it is: A L L A B O U T T H E C H I L D R E N
~Karen and all of us at HATS