His Heart for Haiti

Giving Hope Through Child Sponsorship


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Construction Department Work Teams

I had no idea before I moved to Haiti how much Construction work teams would change my life.

I had no idea before I moved to Haiti how much Construction work teams would change my life.

by Grant

I have been helping out in the MEBSH Construction Department as much as possible since we moved here. I also have language lessons some afternoons. I basically do whatever they tell me to do. They know how to keep me busy! I really enjoy helping out and learning so many new skills. I plan to also help out my parents with Child Sponsorship work in the future.

Making new friends and talking with Haitians are definitely the best part of going on teams.

Making new friends and talking with Haitians are definitely the best part of going on teams

Work Teams

So far I have gone out on two work teams as well as two 1-day teams. I will leave to go on another one this Friday. I really like going and I sure learn all sorts of things from the guys that go. They give me spiritual advice as well as practical. Teams of men and women come from different churches and states. We work together to put tin roofs on churches and schools, as well as make the church benches and school desks. For sure you have to get really good at hammering nails because we do so much of it! I’ve sanded and varnished church benches and helped put together school desks. I help assemble the roof trusses and then raise them up with the help of multiple other guys. I help with putting the tar paper and tin on top of the roof once all the trusses are in place.

Loading the trucks to leave early the next morning!

Loading the trucks to leave early the next morning!

Many rugged miles are covered to reach the remote villages.

Many rugged miles are covered to reach the remote villages.

Preplanning and teamwork gets a lot accomplished pretty quickly!

Preplanning and teamwork gets a lot accomplished pretty quickly!

BEFORE -- The village is responsible for building the walls and having things ready before our arrival.

BEFORE — The village is responsible for building the walls and having things ready before our arrival.

AFTER -- Worshipping with a thankful church under their new roof and seated on their new benches!

AFTER — Worshipping with a thankful church under their new roof and seated on their new benches!

Some churches have waited up to seven years for this day!

Some churches have waited up to seven years for this day!

When we are caught up I try to talk to the Haitians that are watching. I can make small talk with them but that’s about it so far. The best way to learn the language is to have them teach you. I bring my Creole lessons out and they help me go over them. I have found that Haitians are very friendly and are glad to help me. That way they also get a chance to learn English!  Although going on work teams means less Creole lessons, I think I am actually learning more this way as I feel more confident and more motivated to study and learn!

We have devotions together every night as a team and it’s interesting to hear what people have to say. On Sunday we go to a Haitian church and worship with them there. How they thank and worship God is incredible to see! The singing sounds so good and Tim translates for us during the sermon. We always have to stand up and introduce ourselves to the church. After the service we go to the homes of the poor to sing, pray, give gifts and encourage whoever lives there. the people we visit are usually widows, old people, sick or very poor. This is always very eye-opening for me.

The Haitian cooks prepare us their best food and the meals are usually very good. There is typically a lot of rice and beans served, goat, beets, plantains, bread ( we bring  peanut butter, jelly and cheese), papaya, bananas, coffee and soda. They make us three meals a day with lunch being the biggest one. I do like the food!

The past two work teams we drove to the Jeremie area on the north coast, and we will be returning there on the next one. I heard that in the States this drive would only be an hour. It takes us anywhere from six to ten hours depending on road construction. In one spot we have to wait for 15 minutes to three hours, and there can be multiple stops along the way. I always make sure to bring something to do and food to eat. These stops are usually good opportunities to talk to more Haitians.

On the last work team we were crossing a bridge on the way that had a hole in it and both of the back tires went in! I was riding on top and suddenly the entire truck started tipping and then stopped! Tim used a jack to take the pressure off the tires and stacked boards underneath, then put on the gas and we were out! All of this happened in about 10 minutes and was awesome to see!

The view from under the bridge showing our tires lodged in the hole!

The view from under the bridge showing our tires lodged in the hole!

The truck blocking the bridge as we all got off to help.

The truck blocking the bridge as we all got off to help.

At that work team location the people were so thankful for answered prayer. After seven years of waiting they finally had a roof on their church! To see and be a part of all this is truly amazing! Do you think you would like to join us on a work team soon?

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MEBSH…the Body of Christ in Action

We are serving through Apostolic Christian World Relief based in Illinois. But AC World Relief also operates under MEBSH, which is an acronym for Mission Evangélique Baptiste du Sud-Haiti (Evangelical Baptist Mission of South Haiti). MEBSH has been around a long time and has made significant progress in Christian training, education and healthcare across South Haiti. MEBSH grew out of the successful efforts of the non-denominational World Team, the Cuba Bible Institute and deported Haitian sugarcane workers from Cuba who returned to share the gospel.

It is amazing to see how much ground this organization covers! Currently MEBSH operates this impressive list:

  1. 488 local churches.
  2. 413 primary and secondary schools.
  3. 4 professional centers.
  4. 1 school training teachers.
  5. 1 university with 3 facilities: medicine, nursing, and engineering.
  6. 30 institutions with various goals, including a hospital (Hospital Lumiere), an outpatient clinic, a dental clinic, a radio station, a women’s domestic training center, a youth camp, orphanages, and our construction department and child sponsorship program.
A typical MEBSH church. This one happens to be called the Bamboo church!

A typical MEBSH church. This one happens to be called the Bamboo church!

MEBSH truly affects our lives here. Our family attends a local MEBSH church on Sunday morning and a missionary Bible study on Wed. night. There is an English service planned once a month that alternates between Les Cayes and Hospital Lumiere. When work teams are here in the winter we get together more often. Many of the local missionaries attend these services and we appreciate the fellowship and shared meals.

Grace is now in the 2nd grade where she joins a class of seven girls and one boy!

Grace is now in the 2nd grade where she joins a class of seven girls and one boy at the missionary school!

Visiting the Simon orphanage, operated under MEBSH.

Visiting the nearby Simon orphanage, operated under MEBSH.

Mya is two and came to the orphanage right  before Christmas weighing just six pounds. She had been left at the Les Cayes Hospital. Now she is at 13 pounds a month later and is very happy and smiles a lot!

Mya is two and came to the orphanage right before Christmas weighing just six pounds. She had been left at the Les Cayes Hospital. Now she is at 13 pounds a month later and is very happy and smiles a lot!

We have been here a month and were very thankful to see the sea container with our food and household things pull into the yard last Saturday! It is an exciting event to see what has arrived and it seems like everyone shows up to watch and help with the unloading.

We have started language training and are really being challenged with this. But we are anxious to be able to converse more with the Haitians we come into contact with daily. We are enjoying new friendships even though we can’t always say too much yet!

Evan returned to Ohio a week ago after spending his holiday break from college with us. He can now picture where we are and what we are up to, and where home is now! We really miss him! Grant has been working with the construction department and going out with the work teams as much as possible. (He will be sharing some of that in the next post!) Trinity continues with her home schooling program and both Trinity and Grant are also in language training. Grace has been attending her new missionary school for two weeks now. She really loves it!

 


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Bloom Where You are Planted

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This plant is growing right out of the wall near our back door. I notice it every day. I was so surprised when I first saw it! There is only a hairline crack where it emerges so I’m not sure if it grew from the back of the wall or if a seed lodged in that small crack. However it got there, it speaks loudly to me:

Just bloom where you are planted! With God all things are possible.


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Happy New Year…and Thanks!

ImageHappy 2014 from the Walders!

Thanks so much for your prayers. They are making a difference! For example, we were recently enjoying a beautiful day at the beach with other missionaries when six of us found ourselves caught in a rip tide! Mike, Susie and Trinity were able to struggle out of it, but Evan, Mandy Yordy and Moy (a Haitian friend) were swept out farther. God supplied Evan with a surf board right at that time because it quickly became obvious that Moy couldn’t swim and that surf board became a lifesaver! We could ony watch and pray until they were finally able to break loose of the pull and come in. We thank God for His protection and we thank you for your prayers for our continued safety!

May God bless you with a wonderful New Year!