We set out this morning to buy some more supplies for the Small Voice Orphanage. There are not a lot of options for making this type of purchase so we went down to the Port-au-prince marketplace. Little did we know that the place we needed to go was way back up into this swap meet type of market. Unfortunately we stood out like a sore thumb and brought unwanted attention. We quickly made our purchase of some bed sheets and got back to our vehicle. There was so much opportunity to buy things like underwear and other items that the children could have used. We started to draw a crowd and Pastor Nzunga got very nervous and said that we needed to get out of there. Based on this experience he said he will never allow this type of shopping to happen again. He said it is better to pay for shipping or pack orphanage supplies in our luggage in the future.
We left the marketplace and headed back towards the orphanage to drop off things that we had purchased and things that we had brought with us. On the way Bob saw a generator and we stopped to see how much it cost. We were given a price and then we saw another store a few yards down the street. Pastor Julian had indicated that he had no transportation and would like a truck. This was not within our budget. The most common means of transportation is a motorcycle and we were able to negotiate a reasonable price so that he would have some basic transportation. After we made this purchase we had been having vehicle problems all day and the driver came up and indicated that the car just shut off. We talked to the business owner and he sent his mechanic to check out the car. While we waited we asked the owner, Victor, if he sold generators and he brought one out that was a little bit bigger then what we had seen for less money. This was a gasoline generator and would give them power for lights etc. Currently they do not get electricity regularly. It is dependent on the government and they turn on different quadrants at different times alternating electricity throughout Haiti. We told Victor what we had done so far for the children at the Small Voice Orphanage. He then said he would like to help so he gave us a Diesel generator with more capacity for the same price which was less than half of the retail price. We asked him to have his electrician go out to the orphanage and wire up the generator and this has all been arranged.
Then the bad news came back from the mechanic who said the alternator was bad on our car. We had a car full of supplies and needed to get back to the orphanage so we could drop off what we had and go out for more. Victor charged the battery which would give us transportation for a limited time. We had to make the decision to hire another car or to take our chances. We couldn't’t help but take our chances. Why? Because there were so many things that were coming together for us that we knew that we were being lead by God. What was the likelihood that we would do all that we did our first day and have the car break down when we got back to the compound. What was the likelihood that the car would break down again in front of this store where we would purchase items at half price and have the owner fix our car at no additional cost? If the car had not broken down we would not have asked about the generator and we would not have had an electrician set up to make the necessary connections.
So off we went in the car praying for the best. Our next challenge was the worst traffic I have ever seen. Due to the delays with the car we got caught in the end of day traffic and spent almost three hours traveling back to the orphanage when it should have taken 1 hour. Did you know that driving a car in Haiti with no air-conditioning and some windows that don’t roll down can be beyond brutal? We finally arrive at the orphanage and unload the supplies but unfortunately it was getting late in the day and it got dark before we could finish up and say our goodbyes. Did we tell you that we are not supposed to be out after dark? Well Pastor McGensy, we were out after dark and yes, we were in a car that needed a new generator and we were an hour away from the compound without traffic. Unfortunately, there was traffic but we made it back driving part of the time without lights in order to preserve our battery.
So, now you know why we made the decision to move forward with our plans and used the car that was available. We were in God’s hands. There was an extra high "hedge of protection" around us today.
This was our last day except for getting on the airplane in the morning. See you soon.