Best way to describe today, hot, tiring, exhausting, and good. Today our team split up into two teams: (1) vision team and (2) house-building team.
Vision Team:So the vision team which included me and Marlow, went to visit with Pastor Jean Marc of the Free Methodist Church. We had a brief meeting with him back in March and we were all pretty impressed with what we heard, so we wanted to come
back and talk more and see more. Jean Marc’s vision was amazing… The plan was amazing… The story was amazing… There were a few things that we didn’t see eye to eye on, but isn’t that always the case. Bottom line is, Jean Marc is a visionary and his vision is nothing short of big. He has 200 acres east of Port au Prince, going toward the Haiti/Dominican Republic boarder, right off one of the major highways that is assumedly used for trafficking into the DR. So, we went to see the land, and after 90 minutes on the worst roads I have ever driven on, we arrived, and when we stepped out of our vehicles, the vision came to life. WE could see in our hearts the university he wants to build, he even has the foundation for one the 80-room dorm building laid. The electric pump well sits on the outside of what will be their agricultural projects, and then as you look toward the massive lake that stands between Haiti and the DR, there lies the land for ‘dream village’ for rescued street and restavek kids saved into a loving, nurturing caring environment so they are not lost in the numbers of those being trafficked into the DR. While all that was amazing, it wasn’t the most amazing part of it all. You see, Jean Marc’s vision is birthed out of his own story… Jean Marc is the result of committed child sponsorship. At one time, he was one of those kids that we see on post-cards that needs sponsoring… but today, we finally had the opportunity to meet someone on the other end of it, the result of it, and it produced a man who has a passion for his country, and a vision big enough for only God to do. This is one of those 10-20 year visions, but the man absolutely believes in it
So, after something like that, a team tends to feel a bit bolder, so we thought, “Hey, we can’t be too far from the DR-Border, lets go see it, lets go see if there are any major checkpoints that would deter a trafficker from coming through this part.” But we agreed, “we shouldn’t cross the border, or even completely go to it, as ALL of us left our passports at our host home…” So, maybe you’ve already completed the story in your mind, but just think about the stupidity of the situation: 4 white pastors, who don’t speak any Creole, 3 hours from where they are staying, no identification on them, decide to go to a place that is becoming more highly patrolled for suspicious activity, like trafficking – see, you’ve already realized that is not a smart nor intelligent situation – but since when do good stories come from smart moves. So, off we go, we head toward the DR. We drive for a while through curvy roads, many pot holes, bordered by a beautiful lake. Then we came up to a spot in the road, that was completely swallowed by the lake due to all the flooding. At first we came to our senses – we should turn around, we’re done. Then we saw a vehicle the same size as ours, power through the massive
water hole, so of course being good safe pastors we thought, “if they can do it, so can we” – so we did. What we didn’t realize is that several flooded spots would follow and many of them would be larger than that one, but we powered through. Then we got about 200-300 yards from the border, stopped, got out and looked, and then turned around – so far all is good. Then we came to a place where a patrol unit had been placed checking for passports from vehicles coming through. Do you remember what I said we didn’t have on us – that’s right, a passport. Long story short, the situation played out much better in real life than I saw it going in my head. One of the guards and his AK-47 allowed us to feel like we may be sitting high-and-dry in a Haitian prison for a while, but then with a final warning like threat, he let us go, and told us never to leave home without it, we were off, for a long 3 hour drive back to our guest home.
House-Building Team:They left the same time we did, got to their destination, and continued where we left off the day before.
They were moving fast, moving 5 gallon buckets of sand and rock and quickly shrinking the pile we had left over. IF there is anything that will put wind in your sails, it’s is seeing the large mound of rock and sand you’ve been working to move quickly coming to an end…BUT, if there is anything that will knock the wind out of your sail, it is to have three more dump trucks full of that same sand and rock dump their three truck beds on top of your almost finished pile, and that’s exactly what happened. But no worries, that’s why we came here, and so in good cheer they fought on! Then after a close call from Lamar, a hard core fall from Jeremiah (which resulted in swollen ribs), Jill’s near kidnapping (not really just an aggressive 80 yr-old missionary who thought she needed to speak her mind to Jill) and rain that made the mountain that much more dangerous to work on, they had to call it quits (so guess what we are doing all day tomorrow). The good thing was, it resulted in some good and much needed rest for them, and time to sit around and get to know each other and our Haitian friends that much better.
All in all it was a good day, great day, with a perfect ending, a feast like ending, as the lady of the house, cooked up some amazing pasta, turkey, and green beans, and accompanied with that was fresh grown avocados, green beans, and fresh squeezed cherry/orange juice – all of this followed by a couple hours sitting around the table talking and laughing… so was it a great time of deep soul moving worship, nope. Did someone have some great word from God that would make us ponder all night, nope – but the way the day ended was just what the soul needed!