Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Haiti Update: March 2011

Bonswa…K√≤man ou ye?  (Good afternoon/evening…how are you?)…
Well, another month has blown by and we have already seen the first quarter of this year pass by.  I am not sure about you, but I am so anxious to see this long, drawn out winter move into spring.  We keep getting glimpses of it here in Ohio, but then winter-like weather rolls back in.  Isn’t this how it often seems to be with the rest of life as well.  We make it through a difficult time, a winter, in our lives and just when we think it is over…spring has arrived, the pings of winter resurface.  My prayers are that each you will feel the blessings that are in store for you as life continues to unfold.
Our work in Haiti continues to keep us all busy and things are constantly changing.  As you saw from my last email our President Dony St. Germain and his wife Sharon were involved in a car hijack.  They are doing well and getting back to normal.  Thank you so much for your prayers and donations.
I did not make it back down to Haiti last month.  There has been plenty of work to keep me very busy and I am so blessed that I am able to do this work from anywhere…even in Ohio.  As we continue to raise our support we are doing our best to be good stewards with what has been provided, which means optimizing on trips to and from Haiti.
Below are a couple of the projects that we have been working on this last month.  We definitely value your prayers and ongoing support.  Our short-term planning team (Dale and Susie Austin) is getting pretty busy as we move into the main season of hosting short-term teams in Haiti.  Please keep this part of our ministry in your prayers and thoughts.  Also, Dony and his brother Louis have been pretty busy getting everything ready with the government of Haiti to get the university started up in October and get other activities registered with the government of Haiti.
At our site in Cherette we have a church, school, medical clinic and orphanage.  The site is located next to a river.  This past year the rains have begun washing out the bank and the river is encroaching upon our facility.  Last month one of our visiting short-term teams was in the area and so moved by the situation that they decided to do something about it.  The team had an engineer with them.  He put together a design to place gabions (wire baskets filled with rock) along the riverbank to stop the erosion.  The estimate to do the work was $70,000 USD.  The team then returned home and immediately went to work to raise the funds to do this project.  Thanks go out to our friends and supporters in the Chicago area.

Assessment of the damage.
The project is well underway with hopes to have it completed before the end of this month.

 The work is drawing quite a crowd.

Filling the gabions by hand.
We are estimating that by the time we finish the project we will have employed close to 300 people at one point in time or another.  We even have a cook in place to feed the workers lunch.  Thanks again to the support from our friends in Chicago.

Pastor Guercy and our Haitian construction team completed home #9 this past month and will be putting the roof on shortly.  We are starting on home #10 with a team that is there this week from Spanish River Church in Boca Raton, FL.

Home #9 for Pastor Smith almost ready for the roof.

 Pastor Avin Pierre and his wife will be receiving home #10.

John (left) supervising the SRC team.
The next few months will continue to keep us busy as we start up new projects and also participate in some fundraising and support events around the country.  We thank you for your continuing prayers, thoughts and support.
For those of you that have been following our progress on raising our support we are currently at 43%, which comes to 66% with one-time donations added in.  God is till providing for us on a month-by-month basis and our base of supporters is continuing to grow.  Thank you for your continued prayers and support.