Two hurricanes have missed us !!! Praise God !! Two straight hurricanes this past month have avoided us here in Haiti and we are very grateful. We don't want them harming others either, but we are grateful the hurricanes have bypassed us. With 600,000 or more people still living in tents, a hurricane (or even a heavy tropical storm) would reek havoc with the lives of so many people here. Thank you Lord for your mercies !
Since my last update we've taken two more teams to Jeremie. The first team was a four man team from the east coast and we took the infamous public bus ! They were thrilled with the experience but afterwards they did ask about flying to Jeremie the next time they come to Haiti ! Ha! With this team, we started the bathrooms for the church/orphanage and poured the concrete slab. The next team was large (15 people) so we rented a bus for ourselves and made the trip in "semi-comfort" (that team will laugh when they see the words - "semi-comfort". Ha !) This team continued work on the bathrooms and also began painting the church. We also installed window protection (security bars) and built some "proto-type" bunk beds to see if we could economize on the cost for all the bunk beds for the orphanage children.
It is so very exciting to see the Jeremie project coming together. The church was used this month for the first time when a mission team from the National Foursquare church came for a week to do evangelizing in Jeremie. Forty Haitian church members from my Haitian home church came to serve. They slept in the incomplete orphanage upstairs and held services each night downstairs in the partially completed church. What a wonderful time seeing people come to the Lord. Nearly 200 people made commitments to the Lord during that week in the evening services at the new church building. And it was so cool to see God putting the new building to use before it's even completed !!
When we started painting the new church everyone in the neighborhood wanted to help and we had a dozen or more local Haitians working alongside the American team - caulking, prepping and painting the exterior of the building. What a transformation - now it is really starting to look like a church. We are hoping and praying to be able to move the children into the new orphanage in another month or so. Still lots to do, but getting so close to completion !
Back in Port-au-Prince the work continues with the tent city, Girl's orphanage, new church and orphanage for Pastor Bellandes congregation and so many other things. Way too much to cover in one email. The new property for Pastor Bellandes congregation and orphanage was dedicated in August and we are moving full steam ahead making that property ready for construction. We are currently moving a stream that runs through the property and yesterday began building a temporary church structure. The temporary church is needed since the congregation has to move out of their current location before the end of September and we can't build the permanent church by then.
This coming week we will finally get the razor wire protection on the top of the security wall for the Girl's Orphanage. That's exciting, but even more is the new well which was drilled two weeks ago. When completed, the girls will have the same free drinkable water that we have at the National church property. This well will also provide free clean water to the local community surrounding the girl's orphanage (as we have done with the other wells we've drilled).
So much more to tell and show you all. I'll try to get another update out before we head back to Jeremie again around September 10th.
God bless you all,
Evangelistic services in the new church in Jeremie. Nearly 200 people made commitments to the Lord during that week !!
That's me and two of the Santa Barbara team standing behind the security door at the new Jeremie church.
And there is the infamous bus to Jeremie !! We've just arrived in Jeremie on the public bus. Every trip is a journey to remember !!