There is really no way around it. If you go, you too will travel on it–the long road. This long, dusty and at times dangerous road, is the main thoroughfare between Port Au Prince and Grand Goave. Whether you are riding in the back of a pickup, on a van, or in a Tap-Tap (Haitian taxi), the experience is the same. In addition to the rugged road conditions that can best be described as jarring, every sense is accosted along the journey. Sights of chaos and destruction litter the landscape, smells of rotting produce, livestock, and garbage burn the nostrils. Sounds of crowded construction sites, bustling traffic and teeming open-air markets pelt the ears. This is the “welcome” all are afforded who visit Haiti.
It is hard to believe that today marks the two-year anniversary of the devastating earthquakes. Much has changed in two short years. Thousands of pounds of debris has been removed or recycled, much-needed medical care has been provided, homes have been rebuilt, and lives have been restored. As I reflect on my own experience in Haiti, I am still haunted by that long road. Yes, the sights, sounds, and smells are forever seared in my memory, but the road is what I reflect on most. The road is a reminder of the long journey of struggle, growth, and hope that the Haitian people have been on. Every mile tells a story. Each bridge tells of a triumph. Each pothole tells of a tragedy. As we look forward to another year of ministry in Haiti among our brothers and sisters, may we be ever mindful of this journey, the triumphs and the tragedies, and the ever-present long road ahead.