Week 1 team: Tuesday, Jan. 27
This morning we woke up early to the smell of French toast and fried eggs, thanks to Larry and Richard. We are so grateful for the great breakfasts from fellow team members and for those who pitch in to clean the kitchen afterwards.
Before we took off for the work site, we had a few minutes to talk about things we are grateful for, people we are praying for and to discuss James 1:1-4. Being in a place like Haiti surrounded by people who endure such challenging circumstances with such joy and grace helps us put these verses in perspective. Nearly every one who has been on one of our Kids Alive trips is blown away by how people in severe poverty can live with such joy in their hearts. Their joy reminds us that when we receive whatever comes our way with joy, allowing God to develop patience and perseverance in our hearts, our faith will grow and our character will be developed. That’s our desire.
On the work site today, we started by cutting 20 long bars of rebar so we could frame windows in a woman’s transitional home that was started last year but hasn’t been finished yet. We also cut 210 two-foot rebar posts for the men’s transitional home we are building. These will be put in the concrete slab so that the Styrofoam panels can be placed on top of them. After the rebar was cut, our team divided into two groups. One group worked on supporting the window and door frames of the women’s transitional home and the other team worked on digging trenches for the plumbing in the foundations of the men’s transitional home that we started on Monday. (See the photos below for pictures of an unfinished transitional house and one that is finished. (The transitional homes are used to help older kids in the program learn how to live successfully on their own.)
The day started off fairly warm, but the clouds rolled in and a cool breeze blew in so the day was actually quite comfortable for outdoor construction.
Seven members of our team had the privilege of sharing lunch in some of the children’s homes. McKenna and Rocky enjoyed rice with bean sauce and mixed vegetables with crab meat (including the claws) with the family of one of the girls Rocky sponsors. They had a wonderful time seeing how the children in the home interacted with each other. The kids teased one another and behaved “just like brothers and sisters do.” Even though they aren’t related and haven’t been living together since they were born, they are very much a family.
Jesús and Larry went to the home of one of the children Larry sponsors. They enjoyed fried chicken, rice and vegetables and had fun interacting with the children.
Tasha, Kenna and Stephanie joined the family of the little preschool girl that Tasha sponsors and enjoyed rice and beans with beef stew and salad. This family served their guests first and then the oldest child in the family served his eleven younger siblings before he served himself. This servant-hearted behavior is reflective of the atmosphere at Kids Alive. Children are taught servant-leadership from a very young age and the older ones watch out for the younger ones.
Erin, the American teacher in the children’s village, joined us for dinner and told us how God led her to come to Haiti to work with Kids Alive. She loves teaching Kindergartners here and being a stable, loving person in their lives.
Manno (pictured here with Tasha and Stephanie) is the construction coordinator in Haiti--he speaks English fluently, and is a great person to have around to get supplies we need and get equipment fixed when we need it.
The night is winding down and some of our team members will probably head to bed soon while the more energetic ones will gather to relax, play games and laugh a lot before they rest up for another day of work.
Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow (like 80 percent chance of rain all day). That would stall work and create a major muddy mess. While we are prepared to be flexible, it would be great if we didn’t have to postpone work because of the rain. Please join us in praying that we can continue to work tomorrow. Thank you so much for praying for us!
Click on the thumbnails below for larger images.
Row 1, L to R: Jesse (who is a plumber) works on the plumbing layout; Stephanie and Rocky work on a window cut-out; more work on the foundation trenches; still more trench digging.
Row 2, L to R: An unfinished transition house; a finished transition house; Richard with Haitian kids.