I’ve been searching for a way to describe our EPIC time here in Haiti. Finally, a friend put it this way in a meeting: “Imagine riding in a car…going 90 miles an hour…with the windows rolled down…and your hair’s on fire…”. Yes, this would be perhaps the most accurate way to depict how its been here.
We took the first week and a half fairly slow: teaching students about water technology, making forms for water tanks and making a tank in PAP in walking distance of where we’ve been staying. Last week, our water team broke into groups and took Haiti by storm. Our team consisted of 12 members, all but two are Haitian. It was the most encouraging and challenging week we’ve had in a while. We went to a mountain town, Mount Rouis, for the week. Our team decided to take on the two tank challenge. Yes, two tanks in virtually 3 full work days.
Our first foundation was put put in at a church with a tin roof and palm frond walls. It is run by a sweet pastor who has a heart for the community. The church is a pretty central location, and it was a sweet set up for us to work, as well. We marked off the place to dig for the foundation and went into the church to plot out teams for lid making, gutters, etc. Literally 10 minutes later, the guys came into the church and told us they were ready for cement! We realized then that our team was a group of dedicated Haitians who were SO ready to change Haiti with their own two hands. Super encouraging. In one day we laid TWO foundations and made lids, as well as started gutters!
Our second tank is at an orphanage we worked at in December. It is an amazing orphanage with a great pastor and kids are being added in daily. They have a cistern, but its not drinkable. SO, we were thrilled to be able to provide clean water for them as well.
For the days following, our team worked from 5 am to 10 at night- BUSTING their butts to finish the tanks. We were constantly humbled by these men and women- many born and raised in tent cities, having nothing and wanting to provide clean water and CHANGE to their country. It was so amazing to look at the crowds that we drew and watch them- they saw something unique– Haitians working for change.
SO, we completed one tank in its entirety! AMAZING! We are almost completely finished with our one at the orphanage, as well. This week we will return to Mount Rouis to finish it and our amazing team will meet us this upcoming weekend to help us wrap things up.
When we returned to PAP, we were able to hear about the other water teams who had amazing success as well. The PAP crew had almost completed two tanks in City Soleil, so we were able to go with them to help finish them yesterday. They are both in central locations for the entire tent city. People were also able to complete one on La Ganove Island!
God has been so faithful to us. He’s been teaching us about what it means to follow Him. Its interesting…in following Him, we’ve noticed that our lives look a lot less “churchy”. We’ve been challenged to be more patient, to change our character and the way we deal with people and situations. We’ve been motivated to work hard, to be diligent and to work to completion. Most of all, we’ve been super challenged to LOVE. Bringing clean water to people who are happy to accept it is one thing; but people in a tent city who are cussing at you in Creole and telling you how stupid you are…man, that can be challenging. It is so good though! Since we’ve been so occupied by these things, we’ve found we have a lot less time do keep up an act and a lot more time to act out our faith. What an opportunity!
Thanks again for believing in US!
-S and R