Poor Ryan had to go to Port AGAIN today! BUT, praise GOD, he got the truck! IV HOPE for Haiti is now the blessed owner of a 4-door nice, new little Nissan truck. Yay! He worked more on getting the container released and now we think/hope/pray that will happen on Monday.
A precious little boy from the village showed up at Lifeline this morning with terrible burns on his leg. He had been helping his mother cook the night before and tripped and fell down carrying boiling water. The skin was completely gone and he was shaking because he was in so much pain. Poor thing! I tried to comfort him while Candice put special ointment on and a nurse staying here wrapped it. Junior, the little malnourished 7 year old seemed to be doing much better today, but pray for him because they have to return him to the orphanage Monday and they don’t want him to go back to not being fed properly there and be right back where he started.
I got to go to the open air market today in Arcahaie with Celissa and a 3 of the other American women living at Lifeline right now. It was great getting to see where it is, how it works and what they have there for sale. I love seeing all the big baskets full of various beans, rice, nuts, produce, herbs, etc. The end of the market is right at the water’s edge. This is a very sad area. It’s where they bring charcoal over from the island of La Gonave on little boats. All of Haiti’s hills have been stripped of trees over the decades to make charcoal (they use it to cook with). Now they are getting it from the island. The people who work there have a very hard life. It is a big open area next to the water, the ground covered in charcoal, the people covered in charcoal, their lungs, I’m sure, covered in charcoal, and they are bagging it and sorting it to sell. Celissa said that she did that for a year when she was 12 to pay to go to school. She said it makes people sick and they die, probably from lung cancer they don’t realize they have.
After that, we took lunch to the men and I got to spend the afternoon in Barbancourt at the building site. Our property is coming along quickly. It is an absolutely beautiful piece of land with lots of potential, and all the buildings look great. They used the backhoe to put all the heavy roof panels on the agriboard building and have one side of our guest house done. Gary, Kathy, Linda and Jeremiah got the drywall and tin roof put on the administration building, where Jeremiah will be living. Brian, Cameron, James Hawk and Ernie did the electrical wiring in the kitchen supply/prep house. James Whitehead rested in the morning and then went over and worked in the afternoon on the wiring and taking measurements of the whole property with Ernie so that he can draft the property layout. The wall, which Haitians are working on even while we are gone is about 2/3 done around our 4 acre property. It is cinder block and looks really good.
There are always village children hanging around. Today we came across 2 little girls, probably age 2 and 5. They looked ill – orange hair, distended bellies, yellow, watery eyes. We had Celissa look at them (she’s almost completed her nursing education) and she confirmed that they have worms, malnutrition and one has an ear infection. She told their moms to bring them to Lifeline’s clinic tomorrow to get medicine. We also pulled them inside one of the houses and Brian Floyd gave them some of our extra food. We have to be so careful about handing out food because it will turn into a mob of kids constantly begging us for food. All the children are poor, but these 2 girls were definitely not well at all so we helped them out discretely. We decided that we are just going to have to be careful about who we give food to and make sure it is discreet so it doesn’t get out of hand with mobs of kids begging. That’s a difficult stand to take, but necessary. Some on our team members have big hearts and have a tough time saying no, and some have big hearts, but have no problem telling them no – like Mean Ernie, ha ha – I guess that’s why he’s the security guard.
Pastor Benis and his family arrived today and it is so good to see them. They will be staying 2 nights with us. They seem to be doing well, but pray for them because their children still ask on occasion to go back home. It’s a difficult transition, but they will be ok with the Lord’s help. When Pastor Benis first showed up at the building site, he went up to James Hawk , who didn’t know him, and told him that he was a Haitian building inspector and that the pipe (I think, I’m trying to remember!) was 45 degrees in the turn but it must be 55 degrees. He had poor James going and then finally told him who he really was!
Candice and Michelle took us on a walk through the village of Barbancourt. We got to go to Osmy’s step-mother’s home and visit with her while she prepared dinner in their outdoor kitchen and then we bought sodas from her. We saw the soccer field where the Barbancourt team practices and competes against the La Digue team, which plays at the Lifeline soccer field (the 2 neighboring villages). I guess it is quite a fun rivalry. J We also got to see more of the agriculture, which is beautiful. Some of the things they grow in the village are: beans, tomatoes, mangos, vitiver (a plant they make perfume out of), plantains, papayas, coconuts and bread fruit. They also raise animals like chickens, goats, cows and pigeons (yes, pigeons!).
Tonight after dinner we had a big meeting with Pastor Benis and Dominque to discuss the March trip and the revival. That trip will be March 16-23 staying at Lifeline and building the orphanage and then the 23-26 staying on La Gonave Island with Pastor Benis and putting on a large revival. So let me know if you’re interested and have questions. Not everyone will be able to come for the entire time, but it is going to be a great trip. I will email more details later.
Today was our last work day for half of the team. Tomorrow is Sunday and a day of rest and relaxation. It’s bittersweet - I know the men want to do more, but they also feel they have accomplished a lot and are looking forward to a wonderful day tomorrow.
Madame Ryan (My Haitian name)