A letter from Bernice & Herb Rogers, long time missionaries in Haiti, for 29 years (1974 – 2003) to new global servants being endorsed, commissioned and sent by their home churches.
Dear New Global Servants, Greetings to you in the name of Our Risen Lord. So much has changed since the advent of “Agape Flights.” Clothing, special foods, tools, etc. are so much more available than they were 45 years ago. Also laptop computers, cell phones, and iPhones were in their infancy. When Bernice and I “sailed” we packed 6 missionary barrels, not that kind, but 55 gallon Orange juice drums from the local Sunkist Plant in southern California.
We put in those drums “appropriate clothing, appropriate kitchen appliances, toaster oven (they were small in those days), an electric waffle iron (which drained the electrical reserve the first time we used it), a set of Corella ware plates and bowls, silver ware, an electric mixer (which a volunteer burned up when she pushed it beyond its capacity for the available power [about 98 volts]), toys for our 2 year old son, Lincoln Logs, match box cars, other fisher price toys, etc. We also added books, Haley’s Bible, handbooks, Haley’s complete set (4 Volumes) Barclay Bible commentaries (all 12 volumes), an assortment of easy reading paper backs and of course All of my Lab text books. We included our gramophone and those wax cylinders that Edison just invented. We had to have our small portable Stereo record player and about 3 dozen vinyl records. Many candles were added, which proved to be an asset when we went through customs. And lastly, our Wedding Album along with a few other pictures. The barrels were all carefully packed and padded with clothing used to protect the fragile items. The barrels were sent as tag along cargo with JARS freight to Miami then by ship to Cap Haitien. They arrived about two and a half months after our own arrival in Cap Haitien. It took a week for the barrels to clear customs. It pays to have someone who knows the Customs officials when you try to do anything in that office. We had three trunks (sent via air freight), several suitcases accompanying us on the planes from Los Angeles to Port-au-Prince(Haiti). In Miami, waiting to check all our suitcases, we “just happened” to bump into The Rev. Dr. Robert Campbell and his wife Lotus (General Secretary of ABC-USA) who were on their way to Haiti as well. They quickly took some of our suitcases to be checked in, as theirs, so we only had to pay $100 as extra fee, instead of nearly $400. Arriving in Port-au-Prince, we stayed at the Plaza Hotel for a night before continuing on to Cap Haitien. We “just happened” to bump into Rev C. Stanford Kelly from ABMFS (it wasn’t IM yet), the General Missionary to Haiti. He knew we were coming, but had not been informed as to when. Stan helped us get our three trunks on to a north bound bus to be dropped off at the Hopital Bon Samaritain (HBS). Then, Stan helped us get on to Haiti AirInter, for our last flight to Cap Haitien. Joanna Hodges met us at the airport in Cap Haitien. And the rest is as they say HISTORY.
As stated earlier: “So much has changed since the advent of “Agape Flights” and computers and cell phones. There are some key principles that may guide you as you plan to pack:
New global servants, WE ARE PROUD OF YOU. It has been a real joy to see you grow in your missionary potentials. We are confident that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.