Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wednesday - We're Home!

After a long but uneventful day of travel, we are glad to be back home in Lancaster County. We are thankful for our time in Haiti, and appreciate all of your prayers and support. We are so grateful to God for his provision, his protection, and his kindness in allowing us to be a part of this challenging but rewarding trip. "Unless the Lord builds the house..."

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tuesday - Dedication Day!

Dedication was set for 1:30 in the afternoon.  We had four doors to hang, some concrete to mix, and touch-up painting to do.  We were late to lunch, but were ready for the ceremony on time.   

Ellen painting while a little friend looks on

Mike installing a door knob

Keith and Jeff hanging the back door

Scott, Drew and Samuel mix concrete

Marc Georges, with the help of our interpreter, Nicholson, told the story of the family who had lost their roof in Hurricane Matthew and then had their roof replaced by YWAM. Once the roof was on, the landlord decided he wanted to live there, so Ros and her five kids were kicked out. That's where YWAM and New Danville came in. What a joy it was to be able to build her a house and hand over the keys. We spent time praying for the family and for the walls of this new home. What a blessing from God to be able to serve His people in this way!

Marc Georges and Nicholson explaining the story behind the house

Maddie handing over the keys to Rosalyn and her children

Our team with the family

Tomorrow morning we get on the bus and head to the airport.  We are scheduled to leave around lunchtime. Please pray for safety in our travels and a smooth process through customs.

Some behind-the-scenes activities from the week:

Maddie using seashells to decorate in front of the house

Cory surrounded by enthusiastic children who all love 
to have their picture taken

Martin and Keith check out the new windows

 Cory offering Drew some chocolate-colored paint

There was also time for fun.  Card games and ping pong were played, as 
well as a very intense arm-wrestling tournament that will be 
remembered for a long time!

We wish God's richest blessing on the family within these walls!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Monday - Work Day Five

At our morning devotions before heading to the job site, we were encouraged to remember three things. First, no matter where we are, God is there.  Next, we should make him Lord of all the work in front of us, no matter how mundane Finally, we should speak to God continually throughout the day.

After loading lumber, tin, paint, and other supplies on the truck, we headed down the street to the house.  Several people started on the roof, and everyone else grabbed a paint brush or roller and got to work.  Rafters were placed on top of the walls, and the rebar sticking out of the supporting posts was bent around them to hold them in place. Sheets of tin were cut to size and screwed to the rafters. 

At the same time, the interior and exterior of the house was being painted; four or five coats in all, and windows were being hung. We had to be careful not to get in each other's way, but by the end of the day, we were almost finished; all that remains is a little bit of painting and to hang the doors. We were also glad for the chance to meet the woman who will be moving into the house. 

Loading up supplies

 Scott bending rebar while others paint

 The house is located just a few yards from the Caribbean 

Carrying tin

 Keith painting

Martin and Mike hanging windows

As always, we are thankful for your prayers. It has been a good week, and tomorrow, our final day here, we look forward to finishing and then dedicating the house. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday - Beach Day

Today was a day of rest and relaxation. After breakfast we climbed on the bus and headed south to a beautiful beach, where we enjoyed swimming, kayaking, and a buffet lunch.

 On our way...

Beautiful scenery! 

 The floating trampoline was a hit!

 Jeff sampling a fresh coconut

 Jeff and Martin kayaking

 Marc Georges and Oliver

We are grateful for good health, and for having a day of rest before getting back on the job tomorrow.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Saturday - Tour of the Fifth Section and Saint Marc

After four days of serious physical work, most of us were quite ready to catch our breath and rest those tired muscles we've been abusing.  Some of the older folks had their tongues hanging out a little, and we have been very thankful for the young and energetic members who have done an amazing job with the strenuous work in 90-degree temperatures.  We were all struggling to drink enough and it may have caused some health issues, but everyone has pretty much recovered.  We have definitely seen God's hand in the job we have to do and the people we have to do it with.

So today we piled in two 4x4 pickups and set out for the Fifth Section of Saint-Marc to see what God is doing and has done there.  We saw many homes that YWAM has built over the years.  We saw several villages that are beacons of light in a difficult economy, and another village that seems to be open to God and to YWAM beginning a new work there.  In spite of the poorness, we saw many friendly faces and had many children's hands to hold as we walked along.

Things that made an impact on our team members today...

  • Although YWAM has done so much, there is still an overwhelming need in Haiti
  • The extreme living conditions of the people here
  • Our sobering visit to the inside of the prison where the men are crowded 30 to a cell
  • Getting to see Pastor Bo again 
  • Hearing the stories of success in Lubin where there is a thriving church and school 
  • Visiting the village of Balale where green rice paddies have replaced the dry barren land we saw three years ago, and the people now have their own rice mill
There is HOPE!

Prayer requests:

  • Good health
  • Safety in traveling
  • For Saint-Marc and YWAM in the midst of Mardi Gras, which has just begun 

And a few snapshots from our day:

 First stop: Timonette

 Clothes drying in the sun

 A village home

The road that our team built to Lubin three years ago is still in good shape, 
despite recent flooding nearby

 Children enjoying the ball Chris gave them

And finally... doesn't everyone have a peacock wandering
around their dining room?

Friday, February 9, 2018

Friday - Work Day Four

Each morning when we come downstairs for breakfast, we are treated to a beautiful view of the mountains behind the base to the east.

Today was a day of working around the base. Martin, Keith and Jeff were in charge of building doors for the bathrooms in the arena, which is used when YWAM hosts crusades or sporting events.

Keith and Jeff

Keith, Martin, and their finished project

Cory, Mike and Drew were enlisted to create a metal stand to hold a new grill for the kitchen; all of those welding skills came in handy today.


Drew and Mike

The grill stand is all finished except for the paint

After Marty finished smoothing the driveway with the skid loader, he joined everyone else in the depot (shop), where materials were being organized and rearranged to make more room and improve efficiency.  Piles of roofing tin and lumber were sorted and moved around for easier access.


We are thankful for...

  • Good food
  • Fans that run all night long
  • The opportunity to learn about and experience the Haitian culture
  • Team members who work well together
  • The chance to learn to know and interact with the YWAM staff
Several team members have been taking turns feeling a bit under the weather, so we appreciate your prayers for good health. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Thursday - Work Day Three

We woke to another warm day in Haiti. Most of us slept well, but for some, the sounds of dogs barking, music playing, and the power saw across the street prevented an ideal night's rest.

Our morning devotions today reminded us to keep an eternal perspective; both for ourselves and our daily activities, as well as remembering that each person we meet is an eternal being, and to keep that in mind as we relate to them.

Today the masons began putting stucco on all of the walls of the house, first on the inside and then on the outside. Our job was to keep them supplied with mortar. Sand had to be hauled in and cement bags carried.  First, the sand is dumped in a pile on the ground. Then it is sifted into another pile; two different sizes of screens were used depending on if it was to be used for mortar or for stucco. Cement gets mixed into the sand with shovels, and then an area is hollowed out in the center where water is poured. After more mixing with the shovels, it is scooped into five-gallon buckets and carried to wherever it's needed. Cory got a workout today, hoisting the buckets over his head to pour the concrete into the forms for the porch posts. The other guys did as well; wheeling, carrying, and mixing mortar all day is strenous work!

 Jeff carrying one of the 140 bags of cement down the alleyway. Each bag weighed over 90 pounds. 

Scott and Drew on  mortar detail

Marty bracing the porch pillar that is ready to be poured

Cory and Ellen work on sand-sifting skills

The front of the house at the end of the day

As always, children were everywhere. They love to learn our names, and are eager to make a connection. None of them are shy.  

 Ellen, Ashley and Maddie with their little "zanmi" (friends) 

 They thought Mike's skydiving video was pretty cool

Ashley and a special friend

Maddie helping them jump rope

And finally, an aerial view of the neighborhood, 
taken by staff member Kristian Snow

Click here to view our job site on Monday
And here for today's progress

Thank you for your prayers; they are much appreciated!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Wednesday - Work Day Two

Today began with a Haitian proverb at our morning devotions: "Little by little a bird builds it's nest."  We were encouraged to not be overwhelmed by the enormity of the work to be done, but to remember that we are each responsible for our little piece of the puzzle that helps to complete the big picture.

While some of the ladies touched up the door and window frames that they painted yesterday, the rest of the crew loaded up 250 more blocks on the truck and headed over to the house.  We are glad that it's only a block away.  The local masons got to work on the walls while our crew helped keep them supplied with mortar.

The task today was to get the block walls as high as possible.  We went back to the base for two more loads of block; one load of 250, and another of 150, each one carried by hand.  The area we have to work in is rather small and crowded, and is down a long alley behind many other buildings, and is very close to the beach. At any given time there might be twenty or more spectators gathered around, many of them children.

Some of us were given the job of cleaning up the beach in front of the house, using rakes and shovels. Many, many wheelbarrow loads were taken up the alleyway and loaded onto the truck. We had lots of children willing to help us!

By the end of our day, most of the walls were completed, door and window frames installed, and supportive posts with rebar had forms built around them and were poured with concrete. It was a tired, hot, and dirty crew that headed back to the base for dinner.

This evening was our worship service with the YWAM staff. We had a time of music and a message by staff member Kristian Snow.

Here are a few snapshots of our day:

It is interesting to watch their method for mixing mortar 

Marty and Ellen handing the buckets up to the masons

The walls are getting higher!

Trash duty


Ellen was a good sport!

And finally, thank you so much for your continued prayers. We are all doing well so far, and are grateful for your support!

Wednesday - We're Home!

After a long but uneventful day of travel, we are glad to be back home in Lancaster County. We are thankful for our time in Haiti, and ap...