Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 3

Aloha from Haiti,

Base camp and the church site are buttoned down and as ready as can be for the coming storm. The tent city that was close by us was moved a month or so ago so those people are not in the danger they were here. But there are still well over 1,000,000 completely exposed to the weather and with little options for places to go for protection. 

Please pray for the safety of the people of Haiti. Current predictions are for some heavy winds, but the possibility of heavy rains are far worse - 5 to 10 inches with up to 15 inches are possible in some places in Haiti. That could pose a huge problem with all the earthquake debris choking drainage ditches and streams. 

The two temporary missionary teams went home today and American Airlines has canceled all flights in or out of Haiti starting tomorrow morning. All that's left is the small permanent staff and Aaron Harris and I. We will see what the weekend brings !

God bless


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 2

Another chaotic day in Haiti. We have a brand new grocery store out on the highway just beyond the turn off to our road. Went there today with John Booker. It looks just as nice as Times or Safeway, but much smaller, with almost no produce and lacking some things that you would think they would have. For example they had absolutely no sugar, but had 15 feet of shelving dedicated to liquor ! But at least it's new and clean - unlike many of the local markets (as you remember). Later that day, traveled around with some pastors from the mainland who are considering bringing teams here next year. We also went back to Mt Lazar (where all the houses collapsed near Pastor Rosinell's) Also spent some time with a team from Oklahoma working at the church site. They were a great team with a family atmosphere like we have.

The biggest thing on the horizon today is the possible hurricane coming. Right now it is supposed to hit here between Thursday night and Friday morning. Currently it's still a big tropical storm, but could become a full fledged hurricane between now and then. The Oklahoma team is going home tomorrow instead of Saturday since American Airlines is canceling all flights in and out of Haiti for Friday and Saturday, anticipating the weather being very bad. We have started the process of preparing the construction sites for the bad weather. Pray for us and for Haiti. Even a normal wind and rain storm will be bad for the tent cities, but a bad hurricane could be almost as devastating as the earthquake was. We will most likely be safe in the base camp house, but many, many others will be exposed to the full force of this storm. We will know much more tomorrow evening as the anticipated path and force of the storm will be more accurate by then.

Love you guys


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Another Week in Haiti!!!

Please help us keep Pastor Mark and Aaron in prayer as they journeyed to Haiti yesterday for a week. They will be there for a week laying the groundwork, covering the base camp in prayer and helping set the path for Pastor Mark and the teams to follow in 2011. Their first blog entry from this trip is below:

Aaron and I arrived in Port-au-Prince this morning (2 am Hawaii time) and immediately jumped into the confusion and chaos we lovingly call Haiti - no immigration forms were available on the plane so we had to search for someone in customs with the proper form and then stand in the long lines to pass through customs. Finally found our luggage, but then were "chosen" (by God ?) to have our luggage searched. A young Haitian lady chose the first box and opened it to find just some of my clothes and personal items. She told us to wait right there and left - I assumed to find her superior. She was gone for a LONG time and I wondered if our first day in Haiti would start with a harsh interrogation in some private room at the airport !! She finally returned and in broken English apologized - all this time she had been looking for tape to help me close up my box !! Ha !! After that experience we walked outside into literally hundreds of Haitian "helpers" trying to help us carry our luggage, find a taxi, find a friend, find ANYTHING that would give them a chance to collect some money from us ! They're difficult to wade through but you can't blame them - they have to make a living. Finally found John Booker and loaded up for the short trip to base camp and church.

The church site is unbelievable ! The "leaning" church building that was damaged in the earthquake has been torn down and replaced by a beautiful concrete slab waiting for the structural steel framing to arrive and start the new church. The framing is in customs (and has been for the last few weeks) but should be released in the next week.... or two .....or four ! (if you know what I mean). The tin roof shed is still there for the church to meet under and on this normal work day for us, Pastor Guy and about fifty people were having a prayer meeting from 8 am until noon to pray for their nation - the "All Saints Day" and the day after are holidays here that go back to the heavy voodoo days and Pastor wanted to battle against that darkness with a prayer meeting. So he's having a prayer meeting under the tin roof in the heat, while another half dozen other team members and local Haitian workers are working on various projects around the site ! Pretty amazing to watch !!

Lots of other preparations are starting all over the property anticipating the new church building, the Bible training school and other small experimental projects to help the church and local community become more self sufficient - plans are moving slowly forward to start a tilapia "farm", a chicken and egg production facility and even a bakery - Yes, Jara, better get ready - "Baker's Without Borders" is REALLY coming to the Church community here in Tabarre, Haiti !! There is a commercial bakery up the road about five miles that John Booker wants to get into and see if they would be willing to help us get one started on the church property !! John specifically asked if you, Jara, would be willing to take a lead role in that endeavor - pray about it. I am sure there will be plenty of time for working with the kids, but this new bakery may be God's call for you this coming spring ?!!?

Security has become a much more serious issue in the last few months as the local community has been invaded by some thieves who are breaking into houses all around. The base camp was broken into numerous times and we now have an armed guard at night (yes, a REAL guard with a real gun ! - not just our friend Antoine). I understand the guard caught someone climbing over the razor wire fence a few weeks ago, fired a gun shot in his direction to scare him away, and in his attempt to get away, the potential burglar got injured pretty bad.

But with all that, it feels like home already, although I miss everyone in Hawaii. Glad I'll get a chance to come home again to say final goodbyes before leaving for the long haul.

More later ............ and maybe some photos too (?)

Love you all,

Pastor Mark