Keith and Kinsey's Real Estate Update

Haiti Trip Turned Key West Honeymoon
December 16, 2010, 8:08 am
Filed under: Haiti

Many of you have probably seen our Facebook updates and are aware that we never actually made it to Haiti. Here’s our story of what happened.

We set out for Chicago last Wednesday afternoon planning to fly to Ft Lauderdale, FL then to Port Au Prince, Haiti. By the time we got to Chicago American Airlines had canceled flights to Haiti due to social unrest in Port Au Prince following the elections. We had actually scheduled the trip to avoid the elections, but it took longer than we expected for them to tally the votes. We were told that we could be rerouted through Miami then catch an Air France flight into Port Au Prince the next day. We decided we still had to attempt to go despite the little hiccup in our plans. By the time we arrived in Miami our Air France flight to Port Au Prince had been canceled for the next day.

At that point we contacted our Churches Helping Churches coordinator in Haiti. He told us that Pastor Fanier (the pastor we planned to meet in Haiti) could not even make it to his home due to the violence and chaos. However, we all thought the the rioting in Haiti would calm down over the next day or two. We decided to stay in Miami and reschedule a flight into Port Au Prince for that Saturday. At that point, we felt like if God wants us to get there, we’ll get there. Even if we only had two days there we would serve the original purpose of the trip, which was to build the initial relationship with our partner church.

Rather than being stuck in Miami Friday, the 3 of us decided to rent a car and go visit Everglades National Park. We walked several of the trails in the park, saw few crocodiles, and saw some unique birds. It was really cool to see animals in the wild that not many people see, and it was great to get away from the hotels and airports for a day to enjoy the amazing nature this country has to offer.

On Friday morning, we found out that our flights had been canceled yet again. We were not likely to make it to Port Au Prince at all that week. We felt defeated. It didn’t seem fair that we made a sacrifice of our time and money to go help out in Haiti, yet we couldn’t even get there. We were really  wondering why this was happening. Josh reminded us of Acts 16 – 6 where Paul was prevented from going where he intended yet he continued his journey to help in many other places and many other ways. We don’t know why we were unsuccessful on this trip. Maybe we were being protected. Maybe there’s a different way we are suppose to help. Only time will tell.

Since we weren’t going to make it to Haiti, and the airlines wouldn’t refund our tickets, Josh decided to fly home and we decided to make the best of it and turn the trip into a honeymoon. We had not taken a honeymoon since our wedding in October, so we headed for Key West.

While in Key West we enjoyed several local restaurants, some unique sea food, visited historic Fort Zachary Taylor, stayed in a great historic Victorian Mansion, sat on the beach, walked Duval St, and took a glass bottom boat tour of the 3rd largest barrier reef in the world. The highlight of the trip was probably seeing 5 dolphins swimming and jumping within an arms reach of our boat. We also spotted a barracuda, and a shark. Our final afternoon was then spent in Key Largo soaking up a little more sun while watching the Packer game and dining on the outdoor patio at The Pilot House restaurant.

While we are still disappointed that we never made it to Haiti, we are thankful for the opportunity and means to enjoy a spontaneous honeymoon. We did learn a few valuable lessons on this trip:

1) Be patient. While things don’t always go as planned. There’s no sense in getting worked up about things beyond our control. While we were pretty irritated at the airlines a few times, we did come to the realization that they are doing their best to help solve our problems.

2) Adapt. We had no plans of honeymooning in Key West or seeing the Everglades. However, we made the best of a frustrating situation, and we ended up really enjoying ourselves.

3) Trust. We weren’t allowed to go to Haiti to make the connection with our partner church as we intended. Although, after Josh told us the story of Paul being redirected, we had a certain calmness about our sudden change of plans. We trust that God kept us out of Haiti on this trip for a reason and he has a plan for us in the future.


Haiti Trip Preview
December 6, 2010, 9:56 pm
Filed under: Haiti

We are excited to leave for Haiti on Wednesday with Josh! We’ll be sure to post an update after the trip. For now, we wanted to give you a preview of our plans for the trip.

Most of you know Haiti was devastated by an earthquake on January 12th and more recently cholera has taken the lives of more than 2000 people. Even prior to these disasters, Haiti was the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Haiti’s unemployment rate is around 80% and only 20% of the people over 15 years old can read. Yet, many Haitians have a strong spiritual faith to endure, rebuild, and improve their community. This is what gave our church, Living Hope Church of Verona, the inspiration to help.

Our congregation debated how we can make a long term impact rather than just going for a few days to help out. We decided that a long term partnership with a Haitian church would be the way to do that. Through an organization called Churches Helping Churches, we were able to get paired up with a Haitian church in Delmas that is of similar size and age to ours. The primary goal of this trip is to start building a relationship with our Haitian partner church and to get some ideas of how we can help them in the future. Our long term goal is to help this church develop so they can ultimately help their community. We aren’t entirely sure what this trip will bring – we hope it’s the beginning to a meaningful and productive partnership that can make a difference in that little part of the world.

In the words of Pastor Josh, “The Gospel is changing us at Living Hope Church. It turns stingy people into generous people and self-centered people into giving people. Because Christ has given much to us, we now give to others.” Please pray for our safe travels.