Today is the day I will fly back home to be with my family. I do not leave till 3:45 pm so I had time to go back to the school and take care of some unfinished business. That business was to give out some blankets to the children around the church community who are very needy. Needy is such a loose term down here. In reality most Haitians are very needy. These blankets were made from a group of ladies from Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Kentucky. This is a church that has helped us in many ways over the last couple of years. It was such a blessing to see these children receive these blankets. Along with the blankets Pastor Harry gave out many packets of the food that we got from Help for Haiti. This would be the start of our food distribution program. What a great way to end this adventure in Haiti. Late January is when I plan to go back so check your calendars and feel free to join me. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
This is the only photo I took today. I could not resist this. This actually passed the electrical inspection. Oh that’s right there is no electrical inspection. This scared me just looking at it. PTL my phone didn’t need to be charged.
What a blessed day we had today. God at times to seems to overly gracious. Today was one of those times. Harry and I met up with three very powerful Haitian Christians today. We usually hook up with these folks when I am down. We were able to help with some needs in a far away village that is really struggling. The names of our brother and sisters will remain a secret due to the persecution and violence they face. It was good that the Lord allowed us to help them out. Haiti has many eyes and ears and out of respect we have to be very careful.
We also met with Pastor Alex from Coats Little Angels Orphanage. We presented him with some boxes of food , some gifts for the children and helped fund a Christmas party. Santa would be proud. I know this honored God and that is all that really matters anyway. All the things we take for granted means a world to these folks down here. It’s days like these that I really have to search myself and dig deep and wonder why God chose me to live where I live and chose someone else to live here. I think that’s the hardest thing I deal with. I know His plan remains the same and salvation is the only answer. How that’s achieved is left up to our creator and how obedient His church is. Maybe in all His grace and mercy is why He has me where I’m at. Here I am Lord send me, praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Nothing like a good night’s sleep to start off a long day in Haiti. We went to Mirabalas City today to get some money out of the bank and to receive some from Western Union. What a beautiful drive it was today. I have been down this road many times but today seemed so clear. We took public transportation which translates to twenty people in a 12 passenger van. Oh well it was cheap and on my budget I’m not complaining. Of course someone out there could buy us some transportation down here and it would make life much easier and safer. Until then I am content with riding with the locals.
Right before we reached Mirbalaise we were stopped by the ever so polite Haiti police department. We all had to get out and for some reason they kept moving me off by myself. I guess I looked a little out of place. Anyway I know what they were looking for and praise God they did not find it. They were looking for illegal guns. PTL I wasn’t packing mine….haha. This really was no joke. They really kept an eye on me and the young man with the AK47 that was taped together seemed like he was just looking for an excuse to see if it really worked. Oh well what is adventure without adventure?
They cleared Harry and me and we walked the rest of the way. I’m not sure what happened to the rest but I did not hear gunshots so all must’ve gone well. We got our cash and got out of that place. I’ve never felt good here in this town but it’s safer than PAP when dealing with cash. We got back to the safe haven of the church and finished up the Christmas gifts and called it a day. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
What else can I do on a day like the one we just went through. It really wasn’t bad considering what all we accomplished. We surely must be living right. If I’ve said this once I’m sure I’ve said it a hundred times. If you have a list of things to do in Haiti and accomplish just one thing on your list you are doing killer. We started off at the Tabarre market to do the Christmas shopping. Actually we had ordered all our stuff the day before and as I said in the blog yesterday a lady in the market would gather all our stuff and save us from the blan (American) price. In other word we would pay the Haitian street value not the inflated everybody who lives in America is a millionaire price. I am totally comfortable with the arrangements that we make. I do feel at times like what a drug dealer must feel doing all this covert under the table stuff.But at the end of the day it’s the Lords money and we need to make sure we get the best bang for the buck, anyway this is Haiti.
I stayed in the taptap while Harry handled the deal. Sometimes it’s just not safe to enter the public zone when purchasing mass stuff. Things can change quickly here so Harry knows best. As I sat in the taptap I sat mesmerized by all the activity going on. I focused on one vendor for about an hour and saw worlds unfold before me. It really was kinda freaky but it’s nothing I’ve not seen before down here. Life is very fragile here and I think most people can’t accept that, even the ones who have been here for a long time. You cannot come here expecting things in return, this place will eat you up. The bible is very clear that we are not here to build worldly things but to build heavenly things. This world will burn but the things of heaven will remain the eternity.
Anyway, we got our chum and headed for the school/church to start making up the gift bags. When we reached the church Harry had some stuff to tend to so me, Rosena and Adoni made all the gift bags up , 180 in all. When that was accomplished I went out to where the guys are building the wall around the outside property and let my instincts take over. I jumped in and started doing what ever I could do to help. I sifted sand, mixed mortar, toted blocks and helped move their interpretation of scaffolding. I did that for about four hours and loved every minute of it. It ain’t so hard when that’s what you do for a living and anyway those guys really liked the help. After the work was done I bought a round of cokes and that really did make a hit. After all coke is the real thing and a universal satisfaction. It’s the little things like helping your brothers carry the load that really allows us to shed the barriers and build those relationships that are key to anywhere in this world.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow. As always the days down here tend to start off slow but before too much time passes the snowball effect takes place.
The first stop was the school where I spoke with the teachers and introduced myself to our new fifth grade teacher. I had a brief meeting with Myrva, the school director to catch up and to inquire about the happenings at the school.
Then Harry and I spent many hours talking about the ministry, administration and the progress of the school. He’s a hard cat to pin down so when I get a chance I take full advantage of it. His plate stays overflowing at all times. We had decided that this year we would not do a Christmas party because we wanted to focus on the school finances only. The school to me is a more sufficient way to make a bigger impact. So as a board we thought that with the finances the ministry has that we may be stretching it a bit and did not want to jeopardize the school funding. Last year we had many donations for the Christmas party but this year we were really wanting the school support so we could get through the year problem free. We are almost there, praise God. I guess sometimes you have to choose your battles.
With that said, several people heard about us not doing the party and they raised the funds for us to do something for the kids. At once my plans had to be adjusted. We decided that we would limit it to the school, a local orphanage and a school up in the mountains that we have close ties to. Whew!! That was a mouth full. So with that newly received news about the funding for Christmas that put in motion what to decide to give and how we will deal with it. I think the word is FLEXIBLE.
The afternoon was spent at the market and working with a lady we know there. She helps us get our goods without the locals jacking up the price on me. That’s pretty cool too because once they see an American the price changes dramatically.
All in all it was a typical day down here with no rest for the weary. There is much activity around the school and church. This country has many faces and you gotta be willing to flow with it. To whoever reads this blog please pray about the school and Christmas party and ask God how He would allow you to help. Thanks to so many people who make this ministry possible from their generous giving. Peace and blessings,
I gotta admit that this is and will be a tough trip. It’s the first trip down to Haiti since Dad passed away. We always talked about my adventures before I would leave and when I got back. He was always so supportive of GMSM and made sure that he let anyone in an earshot know what we were doing.
My trip started out in NYC where I stayed with my good friends Dr. Deborah Ottenheimer and her family. What a treat it is to see her. She has also been a great inspiration to our vision in Haiti. Her husband Herb and son were a hoot to be around. I had about a 3/4’s of a day to kill so we made the beat of it. Small price to pay for using frequent flyer miles. I hope and pray that someone out there will bless us with more miles, it really does help the budget and allows us to stay fresh down here which is 100% crucial to what we are doing.
I left NYC around 8:30am and got in PAP Haiti around 12:15. Wow much to my surprise they have finally finished the new arrival portion of the airport with new carousels and all. Very strange for something to be so easy in this country as this was to dismount the airplane and gather your chum and get on your way.
Harry was right there as always and we greeted each other with some sorrow and happiness. He really loved my dad. They were able to hang out several times and they shared the kindred spirit of farming so besides me they shared a great connection. Harry was so sad about the passing of my father. The last time I was down ( early October ) we were mourning the loss of Harry’s mother. So it was a little somber to say the least.
Anyway we hit the ground running which is easy when traveling alone. I am in my element when I can just sit on GO and be ready to roll at a moments notice. The first thing we did was get in touch with a mission organization called Help for Haiti out of Lake Worth, FL. We have reestablished our connection with Feed My Starving Children, a food ministry from Minnesota that used to help us in Mexico. They hooked us up with Sandra Koch who is the director of Help for Haiti. Through her we were able to secure 60 boxes of FMSC food. All we had to do was pay for the shipping. We got 12,900 meals for about .23 cents each. This will help to start a food distribution ministry out of the school and church.
What a blessing it will be to not only feed the word and academics to these kids but also send them home with some food for their bellies. Sandra is a very nice lady and I think this will be a great partnership. She already has the container shipping down to a science so for the mean time we just piggyback with her. She has already invented the wheel. We certainly do not need to try and reinvent it. God really does look after his own. Praise God from whom all blessings flow,