- We always ask for prayers for the school construction workers - we need to always ask the Lord to guide this team that they will work for his glory safely.
- Political stability - this is a long standing prayer for Haiti. As the Haitian people seek their destiny, politically, they need to be guided with wisdom, peace and a true desire to see the uplift of the whole Haitian people.
- February will be a busy month for us. Slow start and a very busy three weeks - prayers for the Lord continued guidance, our understanding of His will and a peace, provided by Him.
- The Self Help Group program - that the enthusiasm of the team is carried to the local Haitian communities that they work with.
The last two weeks
Looking back at the last two weeks we have done a lot. David Harding, our boss, came in for a visit and we were able to complete a few visits to Floresta - Plant with Purpose http://www.plantwithpurpose.org/ and the water filter factory, at Jacmel http://www.filterpurefilters.org/. We had the Self Help Group here in Grand Goave. This is a link to what the SHG groups are about, although our team learnt their knowledge from Ethiopia - the Ethiopians learnt it from India - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-help_group_%28finance%29 We had a good brain storming session with them as well as a meeting with the opportunity for them to share, with our local church, the vision that they have with the Self Help Groups goals and aspirations. It as truly inspirational to hear how enthusiastic the team members were and the high hopes they have for this program. It has been so successful in Ethiopia. David asked some questions that have made us think; that is a good thing. He has helped us to look at things from a different angle. While he was here we also enjoyed Steve James coming down from the Cap.
This last week we had a construction team here; they came under the guidance and leadership of Mark White, the Pastor of Chamberlayne Baptist Church Richmond, Virginia. He successfully brought three churches together for this trip. (Chamberlayne Baptist, Anointed New Life Baptist, First Mennonite). They worked so very hard! They were here for construction but they worked more as a "prison team" moving a number of rock piles from one part of the construction site to another. When a truck brought yet more rocks they patiently moved them too! They did help use the rocks that they moved to build the foundations for classrooms 10,11 & 12. The team were able to bless a few families, as their presence here in Grand Goave, allowed Moise to add a few extra workers to the team, for the week. The ladies of the team helped Jenny with a clinic in the mountains, for one day, and three of the team used their carpentry skills to kit out the shelving in Kay Jenny's clinic. We are always blessed when we see God's Plan, with any team that comes here. The right people here with the right skills. for example amongst the team we had men with the skills to relate to the children, even if neither could understand each others language - we had great team management and one morning we had a few show the team, their enthusiasm for cooking.
We have had a few set backs too - our internet dish has decided not to work and it has to be shipped back to California. That will take some arranging. We are now using the local internet cafe which, if timed, unwisely, can be quite a struggle. Brenda had to sit between two other laptops while she worked; each laptop playing their own music, as loud as the laptop can! Not good for concentration!
The other setback was a misunderstanding as to what "All parts and labor" means! Our water well contractor finally came over to connect up the submersible pump in the well at the Volunteer House! He did not bring the water tanks, as he expected us to have purchased them. Nearly two weeks later they came back, after we purchased the tanks, and, while they were hard workers, their skills were not as skilled as we had expected. BUT, we NOW have water, from the well, to supply the volunteer house - no longer do the volunteers need to carry 6-7 buckets of water, every night to the volunteer house:) As one mission team member said "I'll never take indoor plumbing for granted!" - the buckets were a drag, but a reality for so many people here in Grand Goave and Haiti. We hope that soon we will be able to offer the community water too, from the same well. We have a bit of work to do there but the end is now in sight, and I think that we can achieve it locally with our own skills.
This weekend Brenda and I have had to leave Haiti, as we need to exit once every 90 days to keep the right side of the immigration officers. We are in the Dominican Republic enjoying a weekend of R&R - we are doing as little as possible; we both really needed this break.