Haiti, day 2

I don’t know where to begin…today was amazing… I’m not sure how any of the other days will be much better.  If there needed to

Lamar and Nathan trying to figure out next steps...

be a day for good team building day, today was it.  We worked all day, and I mean we WORKED.  The deal is, and thanks to all of you who helped send this team here, we are working on a home for a very vulnerable family, a family that lost all they had in the quake.  This is not just a hand out home, in other words, we are not just building a home to give someone, but they are working on this home with us, we are working together.

Anyway, to describe the day: We show up to our “construction site” at 5,000 feet above sea level.  We are on the face of a mountain, and the view is breathtaking.  We (okay “I”) have complained for weeks about the bad weather in Haiti, but not today… beautiful tropical weather – overcast skies, great breeze, temperatures in the high 70’s or low 80’s.  Amazing!  The day starts off slow, we were working according to Haitian time, which basically meant, some of us would work for a while, while others would talk, take in the view, pray, whatever…We spent this time building the roof structure.  We broke for lunch and many of the local Haitians stayed back to continue on the roof in case it rained.

Jeremiah using the old school drill

Once we got back from lunch the work was ready to get a bit more intense, we called it “tough mudder training on steroids”.  Essentially, we are going to plaster the entire outside and inside of the house – which means figuring out a way to get said-plaster, which is currently in the form of rock and sand from its spot on the road to the inside of the house.  The one thing that separated where the sand was, and where it needed to be, was VERY rocky, steep, muddy, up-and-down terrain; and all we had were about 6-7 five gallon buckets and our hands and feet.  So, for the final three hours of the day, that’s what we did, we made trips back and forth with buckets of rock and sand (we’re estimating between 40-50 lbs a piece). The other part of the team stayed in and did the extremely tedious work of double sifting through the rock and sand, so that all that was left was sand.  We only had wo falls – Jeremiah (to be expected, if you know him) and Jill, but they were both fine.

We felt we earned our dinner… so we got home about 5pm to nice ice-cold showers, and a wonderful hot Haitian meal.  Then the real fun happened – the 15 of us gathered around in the living room, Lamar broke out his guitar, and we just began to worship.  I’ll just be straight – the idea of sitting around, with one dude playing his guitar while only 14-15 of us sing, is normally weird to me in a house-church setting, but not today – not while on mission in a place like Haiti, not after a day of emptying one’s self… it was not weird, it was right, it was “being filled”… Jill shared a very vulnerable, yet real prayer, others just sit in God’s presence, some were praying, but it was right…

Shonna getting some labor action in

See after a day like today, even though the house went great, the friendships deepened, you still can’t walk away feeling like you are the answer, because you are still surrounded with so much brokenness, so much destruction, so much that you know you CAN’T fix it… and it is in moments like this worship time that you are reminded, it is all about, Jesus… he is is it – period.  He is who we must be dependent on.  He is the only answer for humanity.  He is the fuel for life, and no matter what we do, set the captives free, house the homeless, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, at the end of the day, if it isn’t about the complete and total glorification of Christ, it doesn’t work.  So to end the day, simply with the realization, that our total dependency must rest in the work and person and glory of Jesus, was amazing…

pray for us tomorrow, as we go out and spend a whole day with Free Methodist Pastor, Jean Marc to hear and learn of his vision… there could be huge potential for long term development-as-justice work…

for truth, humility, and justice!

Lamar and Jill getting their measuring on

Lamar and Jill getting their measuring on

Uphill view of Grandpa and granddaughter

a little bit of our view


5 thoughts on “Haiti, day 2

  1. Humbled and inspired…a little taste of the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. God bless you, Matthew, for going to Haitii and for sharing the experience in writing. Thank you.

  2. Pingback: Faves of 2011 « Emmaus Life

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