Our plan was to return on Friday, November 9 from Jèrèmie to Port-au-Prince. Don and Dan were leaving on Saturday to return to the States. We started our journey after Mass and breakfast at 6:45 a.m. During the night there were very high winds, but we didn’t think much about it. When we left Jèrèmie it started to rain. We tried to find a place to buy bread for the journey but we could not find any. As we approached the mountains it began to rain harder. We had to drive slowly on slippery muddy rocky roads. Our prayers were becoming more and more intense. After three hours of driving we arrived in a small village called Duchity, and met a man who said that the river overflowed and could not be passed. We waited in the car in the village for 8 hours. During this time we decided to have something to eat so we found a Haitian village “restaurant” which Yvon told us is called “under the dog.” Don’t ask us what that really means because we have no idea. It was a very good dish of hot rice and beans, and eggplant with large pieces of fat. The fat we gave to the hungry dogs. There was a young American man we met from New York City, who was in Duchity for the week participating in a volunteer mission. His name was Martin and told us about the St. Michael’s Catholic Church that was down the road and invited us to wait there if we liked. But we decided to wait where the other trucks and vehicles were lined up to cross the river. (Martin is the young man in the pictures below in the yellow shirt.)
When we got close to the river we saw a red pick-up truck in the river. This truck past us earlier in the day. Thank God the people were able to get out of the truck. Some very large trucks were able to cross but one of them missed the bridge and got stuck leaning on its side. This was a scary site and people were stuck in the truck for hours and through the night. We learned that in this same exact place last May the river overflowed and a busload of people were caught in its rush and all 30 passengers drowned. The rain kept falling and it started to get dark and we knew we were going nowhere. We remembered Martin’s invitation to come to St. Michael’s Catholic Church. We decided to go there. Yvon is an incredible driver and even at night, with the dense fog we felt safe. When we got to the parish we met the volunteers who welcomed us. We were given a hot meal and beds to stay the night. Martin was indeed an angel we met earlier in the day who gave us an invitation that we would need to remember. If we didn’t hear about this place earlier we would have stayed the night in the car. Once again God’s providential care was with us.
Early in the morning at 6 a.m. with the rain still falling, we went again to the river to see if we could cross over. The truck was still stuck in the same place, but with the help of many people hanging on the side of our car to make it heavier we were able to cross over and make our way back to Port-au-Prince. On the way home through the mountains we saw 3 rainbows as the sun began to make its way through the clouds. This was a sign of God’s covenant and powerful presence in our lives. Don and Dan got to the airport on time.