Here is a report of our time in Haiti so far.
There are two teams here, the Kootenay Team and the team from Prosser in Washington. We have eight in our team and they have ten.
Thursday January 12
Today is the day, when lives changed forever in Haiti. Over 300,000 died. A million people made homeless and hundreds of thousands lives broken in some manner. People in Haiti consider this a national day of mourning. And why not? There is no school today. Special services of remembrances will be held throughout Haiti.
I am surprised at my emotions. I was to be here for the anniversary last year, but due to the political unrest we postponed our trip to March. This morning I woke with memories that were vivid and disturbing.
At five pm we began our memorial and dedication of the grounds of the future Children’s village. Pastor Rod and his team led in the dedication of the property, as their church was instrumental in the land purchase. I followed up with a memorial for those suffering from the earthquake. There were about 600 in attendance. The atmosphere was electric. People dancing and shouting and having a great time in the Lord. I gave the alter call and many got saved that night.
Friday January 13
During the day team members helped cement a roof of one of our houses, Doreen did some prep work for the service tonight, and others worked on another house. Presently, 20 houses have been built and six more are being planned for. The future six families have been selected and will help build the homes as part of their sweat equity.
It is amazing to see the progress made since being here in March. Much of the rubble has been cleaned up, the bridge has been repaired to Grand Goave, and the country has less tents. It is estimated that more than half a million are still homeless as a result of the earthquake. That means that half a million have been housed. This is good news. However, the good news is tempered by the fact that many of the homes that have been built are “temporary” shelters and not permanent homes. Our homes cost just over 6000 dollars to build, but should be here for many generations to come.
Other accomplishments are: The medical clinic is just about completed. The contents of about 100 rubbermaid totes will have a permanent home!
The school has added another wing and now boasts more than 250 children. Each of the children receives a midmorning hot meal, and an excellent education by Haiti standards.
The technical school columns are now completed and preparation is being made to pour the floor. Probably tomorrow.
We brought a gift of a snake (electrical sound board harness) and sound board in our stuff. You should have seen the reaction at Haiti Arise! Those totes were ripped open immediately – it was like Christmas in January! Last March, we unloaded two containers of stuff, some quite amazing, but nothing got the reaction of the Haitians as when they saw the snake and sound board. The joy on their faces was worth the effort in getting it here. Music is a big part of their culture and this donation will help give them pleasure for a long time to come.
Saturday January 14
This was a market day and beach time. The market is so crowded and hot. The vendors sit in the hot sun waiting with their few wares, hoping someone will buy. What I can’t figure out is how the bugs don’t get into the food.
We visited a wood fired stone bakery, which had at least 500 buns in it at one time. We all enjoyed a hot bun out of the oven upon our exit.
We had a good time at the beach. The water had some garbage in it, but not as bad as I remembered last year. We had a lobster feed, caught that day, cooked over a wood fire on the beach in front of us. It cost us each 10 dollars. The price was pretty good, the taste was even better. In addition, we had a guy climb a coconut tree to get each of us a coconut. He cut off the top and we all had some coconut juice to drink. It cost 100 gourds (2.50) each and well worth the experience.
Sunday January 15
Sunday is church day and no work. The church was packed with kids and adults. They have doubled the size of their building since I was here last and it is full already. There might have been 500 people there.
While they loved the snake and were very excited about it, I couldn’t help but think they need some basic training on how to run this stuff as feedback pierced our ears.
Monday, January 16
I spent most of the morning getting a picture of the class and teacher that KCF and Nelson Daybreak Rotary club sponsored. That a class photo would take up to 3 hours to organize is indicative of some of the challenges short term mission people experience. The teacher name is Mestine Lucner; this is his first year teaching at Haiti Arise. He teaches the fifth grade and has 17 students. Their ages range from 12-14.
They have over 250 students from k to 5 and hope to add grade six next year.
During our team debrief and devotional (we do this every night), every one of the team was feeling good about what had been accomplished so far. On this day: Betty worked on the categorizing and sorting the medical supplies that were stored in totes. Judy worked on a garden plot that Betty envisioned. The ground is desperately hard packed clay. The work is strenuous, but a great opportunity to pray says Judy. Benjamin worked on the technical school as did Wayne and Ken and Julie. Doreen worked with the kids and had a great time. More than a dozen kids made first time commitments to Christ at the end of the meeting. After the children’s meeting a women’s meeting started. Doreen had the opportunity to share at it.
Our schedule is pretty consistent every day and consists of the following:
Breakfast at seven
Work projects to noon, lunch and then work until 4:30.
Supper at five and cleanup of dishes
Team devotions and debrief and then we play cards or other indoor activities.
It is dark at 6 pm and so outdoor activities are not an option.
The team is healthy and in good spirits. Please continue to pray for us as we seek to be God’s blessing in this land.
I am having an awesome time-more than I dreamed of. God is so good. Feeling very well, sleeping well and enjoying the heat. The two year memorial meeting on the Children’s village property had 5-600 people worshiping.
God is real to them. Lisa and Mark are leading a great team of workers.
Hi, wish you were here! So much work to do and so little time. It is wonderful to see so much progress since I left 9 months ago. A lot has been done and it is exciting to see God at work in the land in the people and in us. I do wish you could visit this area and see what He is doing as well see the market and the beach our Saturday activities. God bless everyone!!
Judy and I are digging up a little patch of garden just outside the kitchen door. We even find an occasional hardy earthworm! My real work is cleaning the new medical center so that it is ready for use by a medical team that is coming in a few weeks. AND ORGANIZING ALL THOSE BINS so that the contents make sense to future medical workers. Someday the clinic will be regularly staffed by Haitians – that will be a great day and I am delighted to be a part of it.
Hi everyone! Work has been going well and we are all enjoying the sunshine (well maybe not some of us who are working hard and sweating in it) I have been working on the trades school with Ken, Benjamin, Wayne, and a few of the Haitian locals. So far we have almost all the plumbing done and are getting ready for pouring cement tomorrow. Things are moving along great and I am enjoying my time here!
This is an incredible experience. Grand Gouave is one of the regions that have been the most ravaged by the earthquake in 2010 and the work achieved by Haiti Arise since then has been crucial in restoring this area. Our services provide shelters, schooling, health care, and food for the locals, but primarily it provides a sense of community amidst the chaos that followed the earthquake. It is amazing to be part of such a blessed noble cause.
Here is a report of our time in Haiti so far.