Sometimes when writing about how MAF reaches remote areas, the word “remote” becomes the obligatory adjective of choice. MAF goes to remote places; that’s where our pilots fly. Yet, it’s one thing to write the word “remote”—it’s another to stand there in a remote location and grasp the reality of what that means.
On our final day in the interior of Haiti, we experienced remote in every essence of the word. We landed on an airstrip near Ans Rouge in a place called Gran Diab (also known as the “Great Devil Plateau”).
As our pilot and MAF Haiti program director David Carwell made our final approach to land, I scanned the ground for signs of civilization. And I found them. Donkeys, horses, thatched roofs, tin shacks, small burning fires. But no power lines. No paved roads. Nothing close to what we had seen in other rural areas around Haiti. This was remote. Haiti’s national Highway 1 runs right through this region, and the dirt road “highway” is used more by domesticated livestock than automobiles.
While there we visited with Judy Dilus, who, along with her husband Manis, runs Lemuel Ministries, a holistic ministry focused on exemplifying the love of Christ in the community in which they live. It was so remote that Manis, who is from the area, never wanted to return. But he did—and the ministry is thriving.
A burgeoning school that goes through fifth grade, a tree-planting project, and new wells are helping ease the burden of surviving for the people of Gran Diab. There’s even a new church there as well that is discipling people and mitigating the influence of voodoo.
So determined were the people in the community to give MAF access that they cleared the airstrip, which was previously an area covered with dense thorn bushes as high as 3-4 feet. With that access, the development became greater and faster.
It once again gave me a great perspective on just how necessary MAF’s services are in places like these—and how it can transform a community in ways previous unimaginable.