We woke up to some good news… FSU won. Go Noles! This made for some exciting conversation at the breakfast table, but then before you knew it, we had to head down for work. Most of the mornings as we head down the hill, we are greeted by smiling faces and outstretched arms in a race to see who can grab the first hand or jump on the first back. This truly is the highlight of our days. We can honestly say that we are forming some solid bonds with the children here and they are beginning to trust us more and more and they are most certainly capturing our hearts.
We are also usually greeted by some of the older kids and local workers hard at work mixing concrete and starting on the wall. It has been a joy to work alongside of them. Some we have contracted to help with the work (because of their masonry skills) and it’s great to provide for some of these local workers, while the older kids (who are on their school break) have just jumped right in to work alongside us. And today we mixed, formed bucket lines and poured plenty of concrete to form the vertical wall supports. Slowly, but surely (and today was slowly when we ran out of water) the wall is getting completed.
After lunch, we made one last push on the wall before the workers stopped a little early since it is Saturday. Then we had the opportunity to head over to Sauvignon Ministry Center. So we loaded into the trucks Haiti style (in the back) and got to drive through Cayes. Driving is a crazy experience here and it’s shocking there aren’t more accidents. Between narrow, hurricane-damaged roads, a multitude of scooters, motorcycles and walkers and the dump trucks and busses… we learned why they pray before they start their journey. We got an awesome look at more of Cayes scenery and more of the downtown area. But right outside downtown we could see where the hurricane took it’s toll. There are still damaged houses and trees down everywhere.
We got to the ministry center and saw the damage to the church there. The entire roof will need to be replaced. Thankfully, the roofs and support structure on all the dorms has been completed. And another team already built a new building that will serve as the cafeteria. The back wall was demolished and still needs repair. The orphans that were living there were all evacuated here to Cambry and are still living here until everything is fixed. We got to meet some of the house parents and staff and heard the story of one man who experienced the water rushing in, climbing to the height of the windows, so he had to swim to the church and climb on to the roof. It was amazing he survived to tell the story. We gathered to pray for this location, the children, the staff and the recovery efforts before we had to head back for dinner.
Our team time continues to be a powerful time of opening God’s Word and reflecting on the day. Tonight, we looked at the awe of God and asked some diagnostic questions of our heart(s). We then looked at Psalm 145 to recalibrate our hearts and help us recapture the awe of God.
Thank you for praying for us on this journey. If you would, please pray for one of our team members, Josh, who is a bit under the weather today and had to stay behind to rest. And keep praying that the relationships we form, the spiritual conversations we have and even the work we do will continue to bear fruit.
Tomorrow, our day starts pretty early for church. We found out the first service we attend starts at 6a and then there is a later one. The later one started worship tonight at 8p and will worship throughout the night until 6a for New Year’s Worship and will take a break for breakfast and reconvene. So, it is doubtful many of us will stay up to experience the New Year here in Haiti. But we can say we went on mission in 2016 and returned a year later!