Air Mobile's July 5-9th trip to Haiti a huge success!
Joe and Christian Hurston were joined on the flight to Haiti by Barbara Walker, the founder of Reach out to Haiti. At the last minute the insurance company covering the private aircraft we were going to use was denied for this flight due to the instability in Haiti. We were forced to fly commercial. American Airlines was great. Not only did they give us low fares, the Orlando Manager allowed us to carry extra luggage due to the urgent nature of our mission. THANK YOU, AMERICAN AIRLINES!
The team landed in Haiti on July 5th and truly hit the ground running.
We immediately drove to the Reach Out to Haiti headquarters (Rouska Village) and prepared for our trip into Gonaives the next day. At Rouska Village we delivered over 500 pounds of baby formula and get our supplies for the journey up north.
We overnighted at Montrouis (pronounced Mo-Wee) our mid-way point on the road to Gonaives the city that was ravaged by flooding last September. We never take the trip over Sweaty Palm Pass lightly. This is the same road that we crossed last year when it was under four feet of water. There were points where the water was rushing over the hood of our truck. Please click here to view actual footage of this crossing.
We knew that it is always an adventure going into Gonaives. On this particular trip we were checking on the units that we had already deployed and evaluating potential candidates for new Vortex Voyagers TM.
In the morning, on the road to Gonaives, Joe was struck with an incredible vision of of a new branch of Air Mobile. It would be called Air Mobile Search and Rescue (AMSR). The question was posed, "O.K, I have a satellite phone, I have a GPS, and I am in trouble...but who am I going to call?" This is a major problem in third world countries. It's very difficult to find someone that can help. Out of this need, we have decided to form a network on volunteers in the countries where we operate who are willing to assemble in a moments notice and help if someone is in need.
We see AMSR as a worldwide group that will be first on the scene in disaster, ready to help in any capacity, to save lives.
We were obviously very excited about this new idea, and spent most of the trip fashioning and forming the concept. The ride into Gonaives went well. While passing Sweaty Palm Pass, we witnessed a small miracle. The newly formed lake that originally cut the country in two and caused so much trouble, now has fish growing in it! We saw many Haitian children fishing. We even stopped and talked to them and snapped some good photos. The Lord is bringing food in the desert! Once arriving into Gonaives, we went straight to Eben Ezer Hospital. We were able to spend quality time with the Director of the Hospital and switch out one of his older Voyagers TM for a new model. We'll also refurbish one of his older units.
That night we returned to Montrouis and showed the Jesus Film in a soccer field. We waited for the local afternoon game to finish and announced he film showing. The crowd was excited and stayed. The turn out was great. We had 375-400 people there and over 40 people accepted Jesus. All during the film, we prayed for the Lord to hold the rain. Hurricane Dennis was approaching the south coast of Haiti. This was a really incredible moment on our trip. The Jesus Film has always been such an important part of Air Mobile s missions. We recently purchased a new Jesus Film package (projector, sound system, etc.) and it was great breaking it in on this crusade.
The next morning we were scheduled to leave but Hurricane Dennis had indeed hit the southern coast of Haiti. We immediately began to head south to the city of Le Cayes, where the worst damage was. On the road to Le Cayes we were stopped by locals who told us that we could not go any further because the main bridge had just washed out. Had our schedule been slightly different, we would have been on the bridge when it went. There were a number of deaths when the bridge gave way.
At this point we had a serious decision to make. Should we go to the bridge and evaluate the damage or should we head to another part of the coast and see if we could be more help there? We decided on plan two, and head down to Jacmel. When we arrived at the southern tip of Haiti we could see the effects of Dennis. The rivers were swollen with rain, trees were knocked down by wind and crops were destroyed. Though there were no reported fatalities in the Jacmel region, the loss of crops will result in hunger and suffering in the days ahead. Click here to see actual footage
We were able to put a Vortex Voyager TM in the hands of a good group of people while we were there. They run a school of over 300 children and provide water every day. The Vortex Voyager TM will be of great blessing to the 300 students as well as the surrounding community.
That night, we returned to Port-Au-Prince. We found out that right around the corner from us, there was a major battle in Bel-Air, a part of P-A-P known for violence. Over 30 people were killed. Haiti really needs prayer as the elections approach.
We flew back to the US the next morning and were glad to be home safe. Dennis did not cause any damage to our part of Florida while we were gone which was a major relief. However, the panhandle got hit hard again. We really lift up them up in prayer. We look forward to our next trip to Haiti. Again, we aren't publishing the dates due to the instability, but it will be soon!
Again, so many of you have prayed for us and worked hard to help us get into Haiti. THANKS!!!