Wow what a day! When we started this morning I was planning to brag about the Haitian dinner I learned to cook last night but it seems like a lifetime ago.
We started today with a tour of the church property. There is so many exciting things going on at the property. The land is prepped and waiting for the new church building to be released from customs.
Besides the building there are many sustainable projects happening. A chicken coop is almost ready for the chickens, both roasters and laying hens. The Tilapia ponds built but trying to figure out how to aerate the water. The next steps include Hydroponics gardens and truck gardens. The two other team were working on the new bunkhouses and kitchen.
We moved on from the church to visit a school at one of the tent cities. It was very eye-opening! Tomorrow we will be returning to plant the promise gardens and some banana trees.
This afternoon we visited the girls orphanage. It was heartbreaking to see these girls and yet we needed to realize that these were the “lucky” ones who had someone who cared and a roof over their head. (Although the roof was a tent that was half falling down.) We spent time cleaning up the land so that a proper burn pile could be created and the new building built. We all came prepared with our work gloves to pick rocks and garbage but were soon “relieved” of our gloves by the girls. They all loved our work gloves and wanted some for themselves.
Loraine and I were blessed to have our own personal helpers. We were each adopted by a girl who helped us pick up. Then we were able to spend some time playing and we handed out drawing packs. On Friday we will be returning to do some skits and spend some more time with the girls.
I have tried to explain a little of our day but words really cannot explain what we say and how we feel. We tried to pick a high point and a low point of the day but really almost everything we did had a high and low point.
I will say that as overwhelmed as we feel today God is at WORK in the land!
What a Day!!!! Today we went back to the tent city. We built the first 5 promise gardens. What a terrific name and we had no idea how appropriate until this afternoon. With the help of the leader of the tent city and a few other gentlemen we dug and levelled the rocky ground, put in the garden boxes and filled them with good soil. We created quite a spectacle as the people tried to figure out what we were doing. Most of the children assumed that we were installing another toilet. It wasn’t until they saw the seeds in the afternoon that the excitement started to spread. This afternoon we returned to the city and started to plant the seeds. As people saw the progress they wanted to be a part of the action. As children and adults alike helped with the planting it was amazing to see how the people began to take ownership of the project.
We have seen a tendency toward begging from many people, but what we saw today was so different. When we finished with the gardens a few of the leaders in the community offered to water the seed/plants every day. Then we were able to distribute many seed to the people. It was nice to see the ladies come out of their tents to receive some seeds to create their own garden patch. The atmosphere was so different from any other day. There was a feeling of hope that we hadn’t seen before.
How unbelievable the Lord is that He can arrange events so magnificently. We had no idea how popular the gardens would be when we started but the Lord arranged it so that we could personally teach some of the men how to plant and tend a garden before we handed out the seeds. I wish I could see all these gardens bloom and grow over the next few months.
Today began with the packaging of 300 Manna Packages. These contained 5 manna packs (a small pack that makes a complete meal for 6) and 15 seed packages. Through these 300 packages we will be able to feed 1000 people for a week! We are so blessed! Our team has had a wonderful opportunity to serve here. Tomorrow we will be a part of the largest food distribution to date at the church. The tent city that we have been at for the last couple of days is only 500 meters beyond the church walls. All property in Haiti is walled. It is very significant to the people as well as having security benefits. This will be the first time many of these people have come to the church. We are very excited about that because the church has a deep well that produces clean water. They open 3 water taps outside the church for the community to get water. (There are pictures of them at the link) The church opens these up to the community for 2 hours every morning and 2 hours every evening. We will have a chance to tell so many more people about the Free CLEAN Water at the food distribution not to mention tell them about the source of Living Water.
When we returned to the tent city to paint the school this afternoon we had a chance to work with some more of the kids, teens and young adults. One young man had been by the school yesterday and we spoke with him for a short while but did not have much chance to share with him. As we talked last night we prayed for him and that there would be an opportunity for him to hear the gospel. Today he came back and helped us paint. As we were almost done he ask me if we would pray with him before we left. Robert spend some time talking and sharing with him and we were able to lead him to the Lord!!!!!! Talk about answered prayers!
When we returned to the base camp we were ecstatic. It had been such a wonderful day and we were so blessed. THEN we found out that then new church building that was held at customs for the last 7 months had just been released!
GOD IS SO GOOD!!!!
So many wonderful things are happening I feel like I can’t explain them all fast enough. I hope you are feeling a bit of the excitement that we feel.
Food Distribution Day
First thing this morning we met at the church property to do the very first food distribution to the community. We had given away 247 tickets to the local leaders to distribute and had prepared 300 packages to give away. We were very excited and felt like we were prepared, knowing that there was a good chance a few extra packages would be needed. The doors opened at 9 am and the line up was long. People had started to come hours earlier to make sure they received their packages. Jean the leader of the tent city was at the door with his committee and had organized
the people. We were very grateful for their help. These wonderful men had their communities best interest in heart and many of them had given up their tickets for others. When we started handing out packages it was heartwarming to see how Jean and Geraldo made sure that every person received their package and no one was pushed aside. They really had a father’s heart for the people they serve.
Within about an hour we ran out of people with tickets but not people wanting food. We sent the people back to the community school and gave the leaders 50 more tickets to hand out. Within the next half hour we continued to hand out all our pre-made packages and ran out. We had promised that every person with a ticket would receive a manna pack. So we made more.
Here is a little of God’s math…..
We handed out 247 + 50 tickets = 297
When we counted the tickets that were returned to us, there were 457 tickets in our box. That is an extra 160 tickets. PRAISE GOD!!!!!!! Is this a miracle or what???!!!!
We fed 3000 people for a week today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This afternoon we spent time preparing for next weeks distribution. We get to do the distribution next week as our last farewell! How FUN is that.
Another praise report. The young man that we prayed for yesterday came to the food distribution this morning. He was smiling from ear to ear. We prayed for joy and boy was he joyful. I can’t wait to see him on Sunday.
Today Pastor John Booker received more good news from a tractor company. They had requested a tractor to be donated but the news was great. The company offered as many tractors as they needed along with mechanics, supply spares parts, engineers to analyze the soil conditions and to teach people plowing techniques.
The bakery has been slow in progress due to the lack of yeast. Hurray we found some yeast yesterday and ate some fantastic buns this afternoon for a snack. Thanks Jara.
Praise God! The excitement is reverberating within the teams.
– Canada Team