The boyz locked and loaded in the taptap. Harry, Shaun and Larry.
A big praise from God whom all blessings flow. We made it to Haiti via Eleuthera in the twin engine Aztec in one piece. I really did not think we wouldn’t. It was an incredible journey and I am really stoked to have been able to take this trek with these guys. It’s probably not for the faint of heart but I totally dug it. There were times that I felt fairly vulnerable. The day started with breakfast at the camp and we got to see the teams assemble for their duties of the day. Seems that the Bahamas Methodist Habitat is mainly a construction mission that ministers to the island through home repairs. They have other things happening but that seems to be the main focus which is something I can totally relate to. From there we took the plane to the north side of the island for fuel. While the plane was getting juiced up we took a cab and a boat to a community to see the children’s home and a church built by some local women. Both were very impressive to say the least. We back tracked to the plane, took off and headed to Haiti. What an awesome flight to say the least. This would not be everyone’s cup of tea but for me I see great possibilities for GMSM with this. Once we got to Haiti and did all the stuff you gotta do with private planes, we headed to my home away from home, MonChez Moi guest house. Harry was there waiting on us with his usual smile and all is well. We had a fabulous meal, as always and I think the crew is stoked so far. Tomorrow we check out the school and Harrys house project. I can’t wait to see the new roof.
The boat ride out to Current Island.
The new children’s home on Current. A safe haven abused and neglected children.
A church on Current built by the women of the community.
This is a trip that is about two years in the making. As we move forward in the adventures set before us it is exciting to see how God puts pieces of the puzzle together. For the longest time Shaun Ellis and I have tried to get to Haiti. The dots have finally been connected. Shaun who is the lead pastor at Beachside Community Church and one of his staff, Larry Holmes has joined GMSM on a trip down to the school so they can see the students, teachers and the progress we’ve made the past two years. We also have a gentleman whose name is Steve from North Carolina. He is a pilot and has a mission called Bahama Habitat. They have flown many missions to the Bahamas and Haiti since the earth quake. They have several private planes that serve both areas. He is also connected with a mission in Eleuthera , Bahamas called Bahama Methodist Habitat. This is where we will spend the night on the first leg of our trip. The aviation mission group has donated a 6 passenger, twin engine plane to Beachside to use between Haiti and Mexico. So GMSM gets to do the shake down flight. Wow what a flight it was. We left Destin airport and topped off fuel in Orlando and then flew straight to Eleuthera. Once we landed in Eleuthera we parked the plane and went through customs. Steve drove us around a little bit and then we went to the mission to settle in. I’ve always wanted to go to Eleuthera and here I am. The surf is good on this island during the winter time. When we get up we will go to North Eleuthera to fuel up, visit a children’s home and then head on over to Haiti. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Today was an all day affair at the house. The work is coming along nicely and I do believe by the end of next week the roof will be ready for concrete. Two of the pitches have been framed in and we started putting plywood on them today. I am always amazed at how these guys do the things they do. All the lumber is cut with machetes or a small hand saw. As the boss was framing in the pitches he used only the machete to make ALL his cuts. Totally blew me away. When it came to the plywood they used a handsaws to make ALL cuts. I am glad I was not the cut man. All I could think of is Dennis and I back home trying to do our remodeling this way. I can see us now pulling into someone’s drive way with a hammer in one hand and a machete in the other. That would go over real well I’m sure. Anyway the roof is going better than I expected. I guess you really have to be here to appreciate it. Hard, hard work. The last three days I’ve been using mottos for transportation. This is a whole adventure in it self. I would certainly say there is a fair amount of danger to it. But it is cheap and quick. It just gets to expensive to hire private tap taps. As I’m riding on these things I often think, dude your almost 55 and your not superman anymore. You are pretty much at the mercy of the driver too. Nothing between you and the concrete, moving metal and the other 300 million motorcycles. The only advantage I have is that Harry gets me the “good ” drivers and they do take it a little easier when I’m on the back. So far God has taken care of me and I don’t mean to tempt Him but at times there is no other choice. One day He will bless us with a vehicle down here. Until then, in Haiti do as the Haitians do. Do what you gotta do to make it work. Once Harrys house is finished and we get some wheels our expenses will go way down. These are two things that I continually pray for. It’s all His timing. No complaints, I am stoked at what He is doing through GMSM.Today is the last day and I already miss it and I haven’t left yet. I don’t know….. I just feel like I belong. Why this place I’ll never know I just know that’s where God has led me. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Kenny, GMSM
The finished framing is very similar ours. They just get from point A to point B in a much different way.
I’m glad I’m not the cut man.
Applying the decking on the rafters. The rebar and concrete will go on top and when the concrete is dry all wood will be removed from the underneath. All this hard work with the framing and it’s all temporary.
Today was a simple day. I went to the school and hung out all day. I was able to speak with each of our staff staff individually. We talked about the students and how they were doing in their studies. We also talked about how we might be able to assist each classroom to help the professors reach the goals they have for their students. Seems to be that the biggest problem is that a lot of the parents do not support the is children’s education. Meaning, they do not encourage them to do the homework and they will not supply them with the proper resources, school books. This is a big problem. Each class has a percentage of students who do not have books which mean they fall far behind. It’s not that the books are to expensive (unless you live in Haiti) but that is the one thing all parents know before each school year is that they are responsible for their child’s school books. It’s a small investment and we supply all other resources. It’s an ownership thing. The area where the school sits is a place where they raise animals and grow crops. They work the fields and they want their children to work the fields. Most of Haiti is a day to day living. Not looking ahead but looking at today’s survival. Cultural or not it is a big problem for some of our students. We will have to come up with a plan to battle this problem by the start of next year. Our students and staff are a very happy group. God has blessed us so much to be able to minister to this small group of people. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Kenny
This humbled me totally.
The school still needs much work. We have to get windows and doors installed, the walls need to be stuccoed inside and out and we need to build partition walls for each class. Please pray that God will send teams to help us complete this for the next school year.
Girls against boys soccer game. The girls won. Notice the boy with no shoes running all over the rocks.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow. This cold is kicking my butt and i did not have a very good nights sleep last night. My time is limited this trip so I must press on. Maybe today will be better. We headed into town to the Digicel office to get a new cell phone for me. The one I have is three years old and it has gotten to the point to where you can hardly hear the conversation. Going up town is a trip in itself. When we left the guest house we went through the Tabarre market. This is an area where you can hardly navigate a vehicle because of the thousands of people. Hundreds of vendors selling the same things. Stuff like cloths, veggies, meat, house ware, you name it. I would love to have had a few pics of this place but it just was not appropriate at the time. You don’t want to take a picture of someone if they are not cool with it, it can cause a major hassle. Anyway we got another cheap phone and headed back through town and out to the property to check on the progress of the roof. When we got to the house the men were preparing the framing so that the roof will be ready for concrete. This will be one of the strongest built houses in Haiti. I’ve watched the construction from the ground up. We have permits and approval from the local governing bodies which is something most do not do. We have used bigger and more rebar than most homes and the roof will be the same. Concrete roofs are vert common here and if done correctly there are no problems. The problems are from people not using the proper size rebar, using cheap blocks and not mixing the concrete properly. These are all money saving issues. But when the quake rumbled through most those cheaply built buildings came crumbling down. The money saved is useless now. Building a strong foundation is scriptural. With all that said this will be a good safe house. May God richly bless all those who have helped with this home. The day is done and I’ll be headed back to my watering hole shortly in hopes of a good nights rest. Kenny
A few construction pics of the roof supports for the concrete.
The boss sawing some lumber for framing
The roof preparation.
The streets never really go to sleep. Someone always has something to do good or bad.
The streets never really go to sleep. Someone always has something to do good or bad.
Oh yeah nothing like a head full of NyQuil from the night before to start the day. I actually had a fairly good night sleep last night considering. As I ate breakfast this morning Lila the cook at the guest house brought me some concoction made out of I don’t know what. Through her creole and body language she made me believe that this stuff would help. As I looked at it I wasn’t sure what it was but thought what the heck I feel like crap anyway how could this hurt. I downed it and it tasted really good and it did make me feel better for a little while. I started the day at the school where I greeted the children and teachers. I only hung out there for a short time because my journey this time was to get started on the roof of Harrys house. The lord blessed us with the funds so today was a gathering material day. Tomorrow will be much the same. Things work so differently here and there is no rush. We could all learn a lot from these guys if we wanted. Patience is a virtue here. It was a long day and the way I was feeling made it that much longer. I made it back to the guest house right around dark and as I sat down to eat Lila meet me with more of the mojo juice. I drank it, ate and now I’ll wait a while and then hit the NyQuil bottle and hope for a descent sleep. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Kenny, GMSM
These tent cities should have gone long ago. I guess it keeps the NGO ‘s in a job.
Today started out in a good way. First off I had a killer night sleep and secomd I feel a whole lot better than I did yesterday. I guess that’s my que to take off running today. Our first order of business was to go by Help for Haiti and visit our new Haiti connection and pick up 40 reusable 5 gallon buckets of rice meals. These are used for our food distribution program. We are so fortunate to be working with these guys who bless us with hassle free food purchase. Actually we do not pay for the food we only pay a portion of the shipping. We met pastor John at the compound and he hooked us up. Once we were loaded up we prayed and hit the road headed for the school to unload the bounty. When I can pin Harry down for two minutes we will discuss the priority needs and distribute the food properly. I hung out with the kids for a while then we went back to the house site to gather more material and see how the progress was moving along. For the tools these dudes work with and the lumber they have to use, they are making good head way. Harry seems very pleased and he is very t;stoked to continue work on the house. Once all the framing is complete in each room the plywood is placed on top. Rebar will be ran from wall to wall and weaved together then concrete will be poured on top. There will be pictches on the four corners. This is a time consuming process but it will be a good strong roof. Praise God from whom all blessings flow, it was another good day in Haiti.
Harry and Rooney our taptap driver loading the truck.
As always the trip in was smooth and easy. As always Pastor Harry was right there waiting to pick me up. Harry is very dependable and a gracious man. The afternoon was spent just chillin and catching up with Harry. It’s been over two months since I’ve been down due to the fact that my wife got very sick and was not able to teach for two months. I am normally down here at least every 6 weeks, but was not going to leave my family during this tough time. I firmly believe that God wants us to take care of our family first. If we can’t take care of our own family how then can we take care of Gods family. I guess I’ve been down here at about 50 times or so over the last 7 years and this trip I am facing a fear that I knew would eventually happen. I began feeling sick early Saturday morning at the airport and by the time I reached Haiti I was full blown sick with a mamma jamma cold or the flu. So needless to say Dr. Sites and Magnolia Clinic was not an option. After struggling through the catch up session with Harry I attempted to go to bed. All I have at this point is Advil. A little while later Harry re-showed back up with a local cold drug and said it would work. What I really wanted was some NyQuil to deal with the symptoms and help me sleep. I felt that I had no other choice but to try what he brought. It did help but I had a horrible night and generally felt like crap. When I did get up in the morning I was worse that the night before. I took another one of Harrys pills and praise the Lord if I did go to sleep and slept till 1:00 pm. I awoke to Harry and his family banging on the door. It was good to sleep. Harry and I went on a mad search for NuQuil and actually found some in a hole in the wall pharmacy. That’s almost a first in itself to actually accomplish something in Haiti on the first try. I hope tonight will be better, we have a busy day tomorrow. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
2nd grade class
3rd grade class
The first of delivered lumber for Harrys roof.
action photos of Harry getting his hands dirty while I sat in the shade.
action photos of Harry getting his hands dirty while I sat in the shade.
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.