We began with the Claremont Grace River Church team, who worked so hard building a rubble house for an old lady called Theresa. Their team leader was Ken, the Youth Pastor, who claimed to only enjoy leading youth teams. Well, I reckon he had to eat his words – as well as a lot of rice that he also was supposed to not enjoy – as he seemed to thoroughly enjoy his team and there was much laughter and love shared between this group, their fellow Haitian workers and the local children. We loved their enthusiasm and they loved Madame Moise’s cooking – I don’t think that she and her staff have ever had so many thanks for their efforts – but it is always well deserved.
|Building a rubble home!|
|Buckets, buckets, buckets|
The special Sunday morning service was well attended by local Grand Goâve dignitaries as well as the Haitian Baptist Church leadership; who had traveled down especially for the service, from Cap Haitian. Dr. Daniel Vestal gave a thoughtful sermon, using a text from Hebrews about what to do if you feel discouraged. After lots of wonderful singing, other messages and prayers, the service ended with a smart school bell being presented to Siloë School directors.
Madame Moise seemed to effortlessly produce lunch for 300 people. With typical Moise organization everyone was seated and served and there was a happy time of talking and fellowship. After lunch we had an afternoon free, so Jenny suggested a trip up the mountain to the site of one of her clinics. This would be no easy Sunday afternoon drive, but an hour long extremely bumpy ride on the back of our Canter truck. Our VIPs were game, so we set off. The cool breeze and the beautiful view from the top of the mountain was well appreciated, and the insight it gave our visitors of the way so many people live outside the town of Grand Goâve was priceless. We also learned of two projects which CBF may be able to help with. The first a fairly simple way we could give the church a roof. The church also serves as Jenny’s monthly clinic as well as other venues and protection from sun and rain would really be appreciated. We also were told of the difficulties the community has in getting water. The water system they had has broken down because of the earthquake and now there is an hour’s walk of more to fetch water daily. We may be able to help with a project to restore the water pipe line to the village.
Monday began as a hard labour day for our VIPS working on a rubble house, as they were tasked with pouring buckets of rubble into the cages that formed the walls of the house. The afternoon was somewhat easier as they toured completed rubble homes and blessed a newly completed one. Later in the afternoon a meeting was called to discuss with our local Haitians their aspirations and needs. It was interesting to hear of hopes for a trade school and/or college education in Grand Goâve, garbage issues and the need to decentralize from Port au Prince.
On Tuesday morning we had an early departure as this day was set aside for Port au Prince and to see the other work that is being carried out with CBF’s help. We had a presentation from members of our Self Help Groups, and a discussion on further training for Post Traumatic Stress. We then visited the orphanage and school being built at Delmas 19 and met some of the Virginian Baptists who are helping to fund it.
|The team talk to Pastor Ronel|
As the VIPs departed on Wednesday new teams arrived. The small team from Little Rock arrived and we were able to take them to GG in some comfort as we still had our comfortable rented mini-van. Mike collected the other team from Cliff Temple Baptist in the pickup, in the afternoon. Much later in the day our team from Edge ministries arrived. Although this was a large group of people with diverse projects to achieve; it all went well. The Edge team gave training to 8 Haitians (including Jeanson) on well maintenance which we hope will be invaluable to the community in the future as they will be able to repair and maintain the local wells. The volunteer teams worked hard on more rubble homes. We also had Pastor Tim Brendle staying on to do some plumbing and electrical projects. His skill and experience were much appreciated by us all.
I should note that the Little Rock/Cliff Temple Baptist team must have the distinction of being the quickest to start some hard, dirty, work. Within an hour of arrival by the later team, everyone was covered with cement dust as they realized that 200 cement bags needed unloading and stored in our depot. It was so typical to see the team looking so much happier doing their hard labor rather than they had minutes before as they stood around and chatted and sipped their drinks. The teams who come do love to work and we are always appreciative of their true servant hearts.
Jenny was able to complete a number of clinics this week with nurses from the Haitian Housing Network teams and our team. She is now fully moved into her new clinic and all the drugs and supplies are now in their right place. The locals refer to the clinic as the Hospital, something Jenny is trying to discourage, however, it looks so much smarter than the original clinic we can see why the locals may think it is a small hospital!
We are not sure but we think that this team may have out stripped Jersey Village in their consumption of soda!
|Little Rock/Temple Cliff Baptist prepare to return home|
|The two new classroom buildings|
|The foundations need to be deeper!|
|As promised - the wall is already being built|