Highlights & Poignant moments from my week in Haiti - Jim Kreher …
The two-foot-high mango trees we planted last year are now six-feet tall. Six more years until they bear fruit...
On Saturday mornings in Minoterie, Berdy and his friends shine the shoes, any shoes, of any and all villagers at their church at no cost to the villagers. We witnessed and took part in applying black shoe polish and subsequently shining black shoes, brown shoes and even blue swede sneakers.
A teary-eyed, shotgun-toting security guard approached me Friday night on the MOH campus seeking prayers for his wife who was in the hospital with his newborn son. Dick & I prayed with him.
We met with and prayed with a young deaf woman. The earthquake took her ability to walk and her three-month-old son and only child. She says there is nothing that gives her joy. I pray that God provides her a source of joy.
An older woman gave Darlene and me hugs of gratefulness while we sat at the pavilion waiting for our fellow team members to return from the Church of Hope in Leveque. With no translator present, we had no idea why. When a translator arrived, we discovered she remembered us as the team that prayed with her last year. At the time, both she and one of her sons were ill. Both are well now.
For the deaf community in Leveque, the darkness of night is terrifying. They cannot hear and cannot see to sign. I now understand the need for lighting in this village.
I had the pleasure of assisting a young father of four, Titus Jimmy, craft new galvanized-steel roofs on four homes. His work is precarious – sheets of metal are laid over and fastened to 1x4 boards spaced 36 inches apart. He worked with this razor-sharp metal without gloves (until I gave him mine). He worked without a break and without power tools on the hot metal roof in the 90° temperature from the time we arrived until after the time we departed the work site each day.
Friday afternoon, at the conclusion of a team worship & communion service our Haitian friends asked that each of the 19 members of our team stand together forming a tight human circle. Our Haitian friends then encircled us, hand-to-hand, and prayed for us. Each Haitian prayed aloud but independently in Creole in a display that lasted for several minutes. This was the most powerful prayer event I have ever experienced and was one of several opportunities we had to experience the joy with which the Haitians worship.
The village of Minoterie once had electricity and running water 24/7. It has paved streets with curbs, the only paved streets I have seen north of Port au Prince with the exception of Nationale Route #1. Due to Haitian political strife, the sole source of the village’s prosperity, a flour mill, was idled for a period of ten years. Today the idled mill is once again operational but employs few Minoterie villagers in low-paying jobs. The village water system is in a state of disrepair. Buckets have replaced faucets. Electricity is available to the village for 12 hours each day. Still the “big city” section of this village is still significantly more prosperous then that of the Blue-to-Block section of Leveque.
I’m blessed to be a member of a church whose congregation is committed to serve beyond our walls and I am inspired by the servanthood displayed by our Haitian brothers and sister.
|Now six feet tall, this mango tree stood two-feet tall when we planted it last year. Six more years until it bears fruit.|
|Titus Jimmy uses a machete to notch a wood beam that provide structural support for a galvanized-steel roof in the original section of Leveque.|
|Worship/Communion at Wahoo Bay|
|The "big city" area of the village of Minoterie|
|The Blue-to-Block area of the village of Leveque|
|Hopewell's Haitian Brothers and Sister (from left to right: Yves, Rosemond, Thimonge, Ulysson, Joseph, Josue, Berthide, Roudson and Berdy (in front))|
|Signs placed at the entrance of our church to welcome Hopewell's returning Team Haiti.|