Let me start by saying we have been to Haiti many, many times...good times and bad times, peaceful and turbulent times. We know riots, we know when to drive, we know when to avoid. None of this is new. We have been through every situation in our heads a million times. Lacey has known different safety procedures since she was 2. We use our best judgement and go for it!
Zane was scheduled to go to Haiti. He wanted to cancel after my spider bite was getting worse instead of better. I was torn, but I knew it was really important that one of us get to Haiti and check on things. With my pushing he went on his trip.
Monday he called and wanted me to look up news on Haiti and if there was anything about riots. Clotide had heard that a little distance outside Port-au-Prince was a bad riot and tap taps were being turned away. I couldn't find anything, not a surprise. Zane started asking around. He found missionaries in that area taking about it, but not much detail. One had me a little shook because they were told not to bring "blans" (whites) to that area or through there.
Zane debated what to do, leave then or stay. You see this in not uncommon and could last only an hour. He was also fighting daylight and knew he would be hitting that area and Port-au-Prince after dark, which would be just as dangerous if not worse. After talking to a preacher in the area and thinking it was a one day demonstration, Zane decided it was best to stay put and leave Tuesday morning as planned.
Before leaving, a phone call was made again to the man in the area, everything was good...no problem. Zane goes on his happy way. He woke me up by sending me a picture of one of my favorite spots, turquoise sea and bright, bright blue sky. Knowing that he was trying to make me jealous, I messaged back and told him lovingly he was a JERK!
About 20 minutes later, as I was walking out the door to go to work, I get a message from Zane, "Call me NOW"! I knew something wasn't right, but still not what I expected. I tried calling our Haitian phone several times and could not get through. I finally called Zane's US phone. I could hear people yelling and he was shouting at someone and I could hear panic in his voice. Panic set in for me. I said a quick prayer and a peaceful panic came over me. I knew I had to hold it together and do what I could to keep Zane rational.
The area that was good 2 hours earlier was now once again taken over by riot right as Zane entered the town and was exploding all around him . Cars were set on fire all around. He couldn't turn around because everything was burning that way. He couldn't speed ahead because there was an angry mob in front of him. His first thought was the comment about do not bring "whites" to the area.
Two men started hitting the car and trying to get Zane off the main road. He followed them because he really had no choice. They told him they would help him get out. They were about halfway through when the men were told the other end of the town (there's only one main road that goes through these towns) was on fire and closed. Zane found himself stuck and feared these men had set him up to be robbed. People had started to throw bottles and then rocks at him. This is the point where I called him. I had a terrible, helpless feeling. I called my dad and told him to pray, he in turn sent out an email to pray. I sent out a few messages and then asked my facebook friends to pray. Then I called Sainsurin. He immediately called Zane.
Sainsurin talked to the two men that were with Zane. One was an off duty police officer and the other a translator. Sainsurin told Zane what they were trying to do and that they seemed trustworthy. Zane felt a little better.
Then gun fire started going off all around him. He saw the police marching on the road above, guns aimed and shooting. He saw bodies falling.
It was easy for me to say we have been in situations like this before, Zane was going to be ok. I wasn't there in the middle of it all. I was trusting God was hearing all the prayers being lifted up.
After a couple of hours, the road was clear and the two men helped Zane get out of town. I know God had to send those two men to help Zane. They watched over him & kept him safe.
As he drove on to the main road and could breathe again for the first time in a couple hours and could reflect on what had just happened, he passed by two bullet ridden bodies left on the side of the road. He drove away relieved but also heartbroken. He knew it wasn't over for the people of that town. He saw the police going into each house looking for people!
Prayer works! God hears us! I wish I would remember that more as I tend to panic and fix things myself rather than turn it over to God!
Now that Lacey is off at college, I find myself with way too much time to think. For me, thinking leads to worrying and worrying leads to worst case scenario. So I thought maybe blogging and putting some of my thoughts down might help myself. You never know, at some point I might come up with a clever thought or idea in the process!