Pastor Paul’s Haiti Trip – UPDATED 11/4/16
Greetings from Haiti New Hope!
Good evening from Haiti New Hope!
Day 4, work day 3, is complete and it was a productive day. All trusses are back up and the perlings are on. We also had enough hurricane straps to put on the rest of the trusses that didn’t have any. A few minor repairs at the guest house completed the work for today. The tin is supposed to arrive tomorrow – we hope by noon. Putting on the tin is the slowest part of the process and also requires the greatest amount of caution. Please pray for safety for the team as we begin this last phase of work. There is a Haitian man, Max, who has worked with the teams that come for several years. He is helping us again this time as well. He has become a close friend of team member Mark Carter. On Sunday morning before we left for worship services he showed up at the guest house with a goat. He speaks almost no English and we couldn’t understand what he was trying to tell us about this goat. Mark’s ride for worship arrives and he leaves. Max finally asks for a pencil and paper and writes down in Haitian what he is telling us about the goat. Pat takes the note to John Thomas to interpret. He comes back and says something to Max and Max leaves with the goat. Pat then tells us Max brought the goat to give to Mark as a gift. This may not sound like much to us but a goat is a very valuable commodity in Haiti. Max was offering to Mark one of the most valuable things he had. Then after we finished our day of work today Max asked Mark to come to his house to see where he lived. It is a small block two room shack with a kitchen in one room and 4 beds in the other where they sleep. This is a wonderful example of the generosity and gratitude of the majority of the people in the area of Haiti we are sharing the love of Christ.
Grace and peace,
From Dana: The tin didn’t come in today, but they were able to do some things they weren’t planning to do since they were waiting for it. There will be more to come about the story with the goat. Keep reading to see what happens! Thank you all so much for your prayers, support, and love! We love you all!!
Bonswah (good evening in Haitian) New Hope!
Tuesday has been a good day. We had a few small jobs this morning and then a little break before the tin arrived. During the break I had a chance to play basketball with some of the students at the school where we are working. We quickly had a pretty large audience so that they could see the old white guy get schooled. It was a lot of fun and they were very nice to include me.
The tin arrived around 11 am. We got a few sheets up before lunch and by the end of the day we had about 1/3 of the tin on. We may finish the tin tomorrow, but we are not going to rush. If all goes well we will have no problem completing the job.
Not only are we having a successful work trip, we are strengthening established relationships and making new ones. The community here is accepting us as they see the genuine love we have come to express. This creates opportunities to share the message of salvation through Christ Jesus.
Thanks again for your prayers and the tremendous support for this mission of love in Haiti. Please remember to be praying for the team coming November 18-26 which includes Alene, LeeAnn and me.
Grace and peace,
From Dana: Paul said that Pastor Jean worked it out so that Max (the Haitian worder) got to keep his goat, and his feelings weren’t hurt. That is the best possible solution. Since Pastor Jean is from Haiti, he knew how to deal with the situation diplomatically and still let Max keep such a valuable possession. If you are interested in learning more about Pastor Jean or the HCDF ministry where the 6 CP ministers were trained in Haiti and taught their basic skills, you can go to the following website (this is the “Founders” page on the website): http://hcdf.org/
These pictures show Max helping put the tin on the roof and progress being made!
Bonswah New Hope!
Wednesday was another wonderful day in Fond-des-Blanc, Haiti. We made quick progress and by 10:30 am we had used all the tin that had been delivered and still needed 14 sheets of tin to complete the roof. We found the tin from what blew off during the hurricane and were able to salvage enough to finish the job. By 2:00 pm the roof was complete. We have a couple of small repairs that we will take care of tomorrow and may have time to visit a couple of the CP pastors.
During lunch break today I decided to stay at the work site. There is a street vendor that sets up in front of the school and I like to eat some of the local food. Max, the Haitian man working with us, and his two young sons were hanging around so I bought them lunch and we ate together. After lunch I got my phone out and the boys wanted to see pictures. I had photos from our trip to the Georgia Aquarium and Atlanta Zoo and began showing these to them. Pretty soon there were several men who had come over to look over my shoulder as well. They asked questions as best as they could about the pictures and I would tell them the English word for each animal and they would tell me the name in Creole. We spent at least 30 minutes doing this. The two boys were especially interested when they saw Caden and Jace (our grandsons) holding snakes and when I should them pictures of snow. Many of the things they saw in these pictures they had never seen before. For a large percentage of the people in this area the general region around Fond-des-Blanc is all they have ever seen. Their world is small but their hearts are huge. They have shown us great love and they constantly express their gratitude. Truly they have shown me again the most genuine thankfulness.
Grace and peace,
From Dana: Paul said that he had a crowd of people looking at his pictures before he was done! He has decided that he has to learn Haitian Creole. That will be our next undertaking and it should be both fun and interesting!
Once again God answered the prayers that we, a group of His faithful people, asked and believed that He would answer. Do you remember the rain forecast that I told you about on Sunday? They had a forecast for Monday – Thursday of 90%, 80%, 90%, 60% each day and I asked that we all pray that the rain not impede their progress so they could complete the work on the church/school this week. They didn’t have any issues with rain. They finished a day early. It had been flooding before they got there. God is good!
Bonswah New Hope!
Our trip is complete and we will begin the journey home in the morning around 6. Today (Thursday) we repaired a small section of roof in the classroom building and mounted 3 outdoor lights in the multi-purpose facility. The lights will enable them to hold night gatherings and sporting events. We were not able to get them wired because we didn’t have all the necessary supplies and tools. So not only were we able to replace the roof that blew off, we completed several other needed repairs as well. The work part of our trip was very successful. Thank you for all your prayers and support.
After lunch we decided to just rest for the remainder of the day. After an unsuccessful attempt at a nap I decided to talk a walk into town. It’s about 2 miles to town and in that time I meet several people I could greet by name and they could do the same. Even those I didn’t know greeted me with a smile and a heart felt “bonswah”.
Some people suggest that it is dangerous to come to Haiti. While there are some areas that are dangerous it isn’t any different than in the US. I have not once felt fearful or threatened. It has even been suggested that coming to Haiti is putting your life on the line. While I don’t agree with that perspective, even if it were true I believe as a follower of Jesus I have been called to risk all for the sake of the gospel.
Grace and peace,
From Dana: Thank you all for your prayers and support while Paul has been in Haiti serving God this past week. I can’t tell you how much it means to both of us to know that you are so supportive! I have had so much peace while Paul has been on this trip and I know that is only from God. I also believe that is from all of the prayers that you have lifted up for Paul and I during this time. Your love through Christ is shining bright! Thank you! I love you all so much! The attached picture is the group that Paul traveled with from Nashville airport and has been working with all week. The rest of them are all from a CP church in Alabama. From left to right, they are: Mark, Debbie, Charlotte, Paul, Tracy, and Pat. I will send one final email with one more picture.
This Message is From Dana
Paul and the group just left the guest house in Fond Des Blanc in the four wheel drive vehicles, headed to Port Au Prince. Their travel itinerary is below. All times are CST – our time zone. Please pray for them as they are traveling today. Thank you and God bless you!
6:15 am Left Fond Des Blanc guest house in four wheel drive vehicles going to the Port Au Prince airport
???? Clear Security at Port Au Prince airport
1:31 pm Depart Port Au Prince airport for Miami International airport
3:50 pm Arrive at Miami International airport
8:34 pm Depart Miami International airport
10:59 pm Arrive at Nashville airport – Yeah!!!!!
Bonjou New Hope!
The journey home has begun. We left Fond-des-Blanc this morning at 6:15. We arrived at the airport in Port-au-Prince at 10:30. We have successfully made it through security and are waiting for our 1:30 flight to Miami. I am very glad to be coming home where I can share the amazing experience this past week, but it is sad leaving people who have made you feel like family and who truly have become a part of the family. Please continue to pray for our safe travel. I will update you as we make our way home.
Grace and peace,
Good evening New Hope!
We are back in the good ole USA! We successfully made it through customs and back through security and await our flight to Nashville. We are scheduled to arrive at 11. Please continue to pray for us as we complete our journey home. 3 of our team travel on to Rogersville, Alabama and 2 travel to Elizabethtown, Kentucky. I look forward to worshipping with my New Hope family on Sunday.
Grace and peace,
This message is from Dana. This is the last picture – a light that they mounted in the courtyard so they can hold night gatherings and have sporting events. This one simple light that we would take for granted enables them to do so much. Things such as this have certainly helped me to have a different perspective on life and how I value material possessions. I try to think about the little things that I have taken for granted my whole life and realize that not everyone has those things. What is a perceived need to us is a want to many people in other countries. If we really looked at what we truly needed, I think. We would be shocked! I know I would be! I am so grateful for what God has given to me and my family and hearing Paul share about his time in Haiti make me open my heart and pour out what I have that I can share so that they can have more and maybe I can in some small way help their lives be just a little less difficult. I can’t imagine having a child going to bed hungry or not having medical care for them, and the list could go on and on. The stories that Paul brings back and I hear over and over from him though are about their love and how much they appreciate people helping them! How can you not love a group of people like that??
Thank you again for everything that you have done to make it possible for Paul to be able to go and minister in Haiti. I love you all for making it possible!