As much as I want to tell everyone that what we do is 100% fool-proof-will-never-stop-working-or-encounter-problems and why-yes-the-locals-always-fix-everything-the-first-time-if-there-is-anything-wrong, I have learned that this is not the case. And, its ok. Because great stories come out of break downs.
This week, our team is finishing up a tank in a village called Papaye and is beginning a tank in another village Laby. This summer, we worked with the locals in the Laby area and we considered it one of our greatest successes. Seriously, countless hours of teaching and step-by-step demonstrations were done. There were a few exceptionally dedicated people working alongside of us. Everything went so smoothly. Even the mayor of Hinche came to personally thank us (and then invited us to go with him to see a random bridge). My heart, I know, was extremely happy. This, I thought to myself, is community development done right.
SO- you can imagine the surprise we were met with when the guys went to check on the project the other day. The gutters were falling off of the building. The rain tank clearly has never been in use properly. The pastor (“man of peace”) who we entrusted the rain tank to and with has not fully grasped the idea of rain catchment or just how much water it can provide. (We’re talking 1,650 gallons!)
Realistically, we had really done everything we could have this summer. Sure, there are things to improve upon…but it really shocked us to learn about the way the tank was treated and handled in a place that desperately needs water.
Here’s the story, though. Had we not “failed” the first time, we would not have had the amazing opportunity to let our Haitian friends brainstorm with us for a solution. We wouldn’t get to tell this incredibly redemptive story.
Maybe there are a few things you need to know about Haiti first. For one, the saying “nothing gets finished in Haiti” is always something ringing in our ears. Another is that if something is to be finished, it surely won’t be completed by a Haitian. So, with these thoughts in mind, our Justice Water Haiti/Caribbean team got together, prayed and started to dream of what it would be like if these “truths” of Haiti were not truths.
We will be beginning a story of our own. Taking guys who have never driven a car…people who have never known the world of facebook and youtube and will never see this blog…taking them and speaking life into them. Reminding these guys of the infinite value they have, not just in the Kingdom (you know, the whole “blessed are the meek” thing), but in this country. Right now. They are a blessing. These men from Papaye will be journeying into another village (many who have never been there) and will be teaching the locals of Laby the principles of Justice Water; the practical-hands-on teaching and the value and worth that Jesus has given us all. Moreover, they will be sharing the responsibility we have to one another because He entrusts us with this life.
We are really excited to see the fruit from this unique experience. We will be overseeing the project, to make sure it is done with structural integrity as just another set of eyes.
And, I can’t help but think that maybe this is why we’re here. To help. To encourage. To say “yeah, you actually can” to people who have been told NO their whole existence. We are here to tell their stories, these unsung men and women who work so hard and love with their whole hearts. Thanks for joining us as we figure out how to empower and teach at new levels. :)