Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Time of Change...

Dear Friends and Family…

One of my favorite passages in times of personal turmoil is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 11… 

The Ever Changing Seasons of Life
(You pick your favorite)
There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to rebuild. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to lose. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak up. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace. 

God has made everything beautiful for its own time. 

I would like to begin by thanking you for your wonderful friendship and for helping me to be able to serve our Lord with His work in Haiti. I have accepted a full-time position as a Sr. Project Manager with a firm here in the Dayton, OH area. I will begin this new job on May 29th at which time I will be relinquishing my position with ESMI. The last 28 months have been a very interesting and blessed part of my journey through life. 

I want you to know that this decision did not come lightly or easily. Since the very beginning of my involvement with ESMI I have sincerely felt that this was the work that our Lord had called me to do. I also knew that when He was ready for me to move on He would show me so. I believe this began to happen in February during my last trip to Haiti. One of the reasons for this move is the lack of support coming in. I have always believed that if I was doing God’s work the way that He wanted me to that the funding would be there. Last year is a great example of that with my support coming in at 103%. I believe He has also done this since the beginning of this year by generating enough support to cover my salary, which included draws that were cut in half starting in March. The other reason for me to leave ESMI is some operational issues that have become apparent and prevent me from continuing this work.

Once again, I sincerely appreciate your willingness to help me to be a part of the ESMI team serving both here in the states and in Haiti. I wish you and your loved ones all the best and want you to know that if you would like any more details from me on my decision that you can call me.

If you would like to stay in touch here are some ways that you can do that:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Haiti Trip, February 16-25, 2012 – Final Days

Bonswa…Bondye beni ou (Good morning…Lord bless you),

Collecting the Vitals for one of these precious children.    
Wednesday started off with a typical Haitian change of plans. We have a school bus that we use to transport the teams to the various sites while they are here in the Les Cayes area. On our way to Cherette a couple of the lug bolts broke off of one of the tires and we ended up transferring all of the supplies and passengers into various vehicles so that we could still conduct a medical clinic. We made it there a couple of hours later than planned but the medical team was still able to serve about 115 children. They perform checkups, then administer to any special needs, perform lice and scabies clean up procedures, then provide the children with a new set of clothes, shoes and a toy. The team also took pictures of the children and recorded key information for the church members back in the States that are supporting this site with their prayers and resources.

Laying out the cross sections to be surveyed.    
Three of us spent the day staking out the riverbed so that on Thursday we could survey the property. You might remember from my earlier posts that last year we built a set of gabions to protect the Cherette Children’s Village as well as the surrounding homes from being destroyed by the river, which was washing away the bank. Last November we were impacted by one of the hurricanes and the village area still ended up with 2 feet of water in it, but at least the bank was saved. The riverbank is still in need of additional repairs. Our current thought is to modify the flow channel of the river in this area in order to reroute the flow as well as minimize the impact of the rush of water in this sharp bend of the river. The first phase of this activity was to layout a grid in an area of about 350 feet by 200 feet.

As you can see from the picture above we had plenty of volunteer help from the men in the community. The Haitians are always eager to step in and help with these kinds of projects. I have always found that if we just take the time to show them what it is that we want to do and how we want it done then they take off doing it. We were able to layout (mark with paint) close to 400 points to be surveyed. When we finished this we still had enough time to measure all of the buildings of the village so that I can draft up the property when I return home.

The survey team (David, David,
and Rex) getting ready to head out to the river.
Thursday started out with us splitting the team. We had one go to the new church in Savannes so that they could operate a medical clinic. A smaller group, plus the survey team, went back to Cherette. The medical team finished up providing care to the children and then provided care for the house moms. They served about 50 more people today. This day also saw its challenges as the driveline on the truck that we were taking to Cherette broke on the edge of town. We had to wait for an hour while the school bus was unloaded at Savannes and then brought to take us to the city of Cherette. From there we transferred to smaller vehicles and drove out to the site.

The survey team was able to collect the data on almost all of the points. Since we got there a little bit late we had a delayed start. Even so, we spent about 5 hours taking the readings from the points that we had laid out on Wednesday. The last time that I had done any surveying was 37 years ago in college. I guess you never forget some things. It was so great to have the other two guys (3 as we added a recorder later in the day) so willing to spend their time in Haiti walking back and forth across a dry riverbed in the direct sun all day.

Rex shooting a reading while Chuck records
the numbers (notice the children that were
providing shade for Chuck).
Friday we spent the whole day at the new church plant in Savannes. This is one of the hardest areas in the city of Les Cayes. The church is about a year and a half old and already has about 450 people coming on a regular basis. Throughout the day the team conducted a medical clinic and children’s activities. A couple of us also took the opportunity to measure out the property and the location of the church on it so that I can finish the design of the new school and medical clinic that we want to put on there.

On every trip there shows up one scene or picture that deeply touches me. When this happens I am overcome with tears for these precious people that are in such need. Today in the middle of all of the scurrying around…people getting checked for illnesses and urgent care, children being bathed for scabies and lice then receiving new clothes, children singing and doing coloring projects, and many other chaotic events…there was this beautiful little boy whose mother had laid out on the floor to take a nap. There he rested in the midst of all of these attempts to bring just a little bit of love and care to the Haitian people.

The REASON we are here in Haiti…

This will be the last email related to this trip. I leave at 3:30 AM in the morning so that I can make it to the airport for a 9:20 AM. I get back home in Dayton at 11:00 PM in the evening. Once again I am deeply moved by both the precious people of Haiti and the hardships that they deal with every day. I am also moved by the many people back in the states that give of their time and resources to be here to serve our Haitian brothers and sisters.

Thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers.

David Short