Near the end of our trip in Haiti we went to the mountain village of Arachaie. This village had never had missionaries before and the voodoo leaders continually told the believers who met in a little blue stone building at the peak of the mountain that the missionaries would never come. They told them we did not care.
We waited a long time that morning for a truck with big tires to pick us up and take us up the mountain. When the truck finally arrived it was nearly lunchtime. We traveled down the coast to the base of the mountain and started our ascent to the peak. A quarter of the way up the mountain our trucks could take no more and refused to continue to climb going instead in the opposite direction. We sat under a small tree until another truck came that was four-wheel drive. This small truck took the women and translators up first and came back for the men who had started hiking up the mountain.
While at the top of the mountain we started bagging up the rice we had brought into smaller bags for each family and danced and sang with the kids. It was amazing to see the faith of the people who had been waiting ALL DAY LONG on us to come up the mountain. We passed out underwear to the kids and food supplies to the families. Then we played some more! The kids and parents heard the gospel from Ken and Pierre and many accepted Christ! It was by far one of the best days we had in Haiti.
The truck driver told one of the translators that he was not coming back. One thing about the part of Haiti we were in that was special was that I never felt unsafe. Still the same, it was not a great idea for the missionaries to be out after dark. We were worried and prayed that the driver would come back… and he did. He would not have time to make two trips back up to get the second group so we flagged down some motorcyclists and part of the group hitched a ride with them. I begged Jared to ride down on a motorcycle with me but he would not have it. It wasn’t “safe.” WELL, the motorcycles left and made it down the mountain but our truck did not. It broke a ball joint about a half mile from the peak. We hopped out and started walking in the dark.
Someone asked for me to sing as we were walking so I started singing every hymn I could think of. Rick taught me a few songs he learned as a boy in Plant City. One thing that surprised me about Haiti is how quickly a town or village would pop up out of no where. We were walking down the mountain road and suddenly there was a voodoo village! We slowed down and waited on Pierre to join us and Gia started praying as we were walking through. She said, “Jillian sing.”
…and we sang “Our God is an awesome God, He reigns, from heaven and earth with wisdom power and love, our God is an awesome God!” over and over again. We were not touched as we walked through the village and even had the children chasing after us laughing and singing too! It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced!
Finally, after walking for two hours or so, a motorcycle rider came back to find us. Our group started jumping on the back of the bikes in pairs and riding down the mountain. I have never heard my husband pray like he did that night. He prayed over every rock, cliff, pothole and passerby we traveled by. That was a terrifying and thrilling ride. Some of the time, I was sure we would not make it. Other times, I just wanted to scream and hop off and walk. Nevertheless, we made it to the bottom. Jared gave that Haitian driver a bear hug like you’ve never seen!
After we returned to the states, Jared could not get the mountain trip off of his mind. We also could not forget the sweet girl we sponsored named Edelande who had to walk several miles to school. Jared prayed and prayed and started looking for a truck we could turn into a school bus and monster truck to get missionaries up and down the mountain.
One Sunday a few weeks ago he found a 5 ton military truck. He told me on the way home from Dothan, “Jillian, if we could just get a few people to give a thousand dollars we could buy that truck.” I told him he was CRAZY! Who would give a thousand dollars to buy a truck for Haiti? The joke was on me… God provided over $8,000 in less than 24 hours. By Thursday there was over $12,000 donated. We bid on the truck but it was just too expensive. Pastor Damil called the next day and said, “I sure hope you didn’t get that truck.” Military trucks were being held up in customs. So, Jared turned his search elsewhere. That’s when he found the F350.
He contacted a fella on Craigslist from Hartford. As it turned out that man’s best friend had just returned from Haiti and he was willing to give the mission a deal on the truck. We bought the truck and had enough money for the shipping. Another friend of Jared’s, whom he hadn’t spoken with in a long time, called and donated a camper shell. God provided money for a truck, shipping, a shell and a whole pile of rice and beans to ship with the truck in less than two weeks! All that remains to be raised is the money for the customs taxes when we get to Haiti which will be around $4,000.
I write all of this so that you can see how GOOD GOD IS! It has been amazing to watch as He continually surprised us with His blessings for Haiti. It has been amazing to be a part of this grand plan of His. We serve a mighty big God!
If you are interested in donating money for the customs tax please visit Give Us Hope’s website for PayPal options or their mailing address.
Love yall! Keep praying!