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.
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.
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!
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?