This morning, the Five Forks Baptist team awoke to the sound of “Great is Thy Faithfulness” drifting through the guest house. Little did they know, this song would follow them as a testimony to God’s goodness. Keep reading to see the pictures of today’s anthem – the Lord’s faithfulness.
To read yesterday’s blog, click here.
Haiti mornings are glorious, but this one seemed to come a little early. At 6:45, Edith greeted us with the lyrics to “Great is Thy Faithfulness”. Little did we know that throughout the day, we would be surrounded by the faithfulness, new mercies, and many provisions from God’s hands. Just as Jesus had compassion for us unto death, our challenge for the day was to show compassion to those we came in contact with.
After splitting into teams, we were trucked to two houses where we worked with homeowners to pour cement floors. We learned that MH4H has received sponsorships to provide floors for about 700 homes in the area. The cost for our projects was around $500 per home. All the family had to provide was water for mixing the cement as well as an extra set of hands. The work was hard, hot and really dirty. Miraculously, within 4 hours, the jobs were done and the families were all set to move their belongings back inside later in the evening. After praying over each home we left both families, beaming with pride at no longer having to sweep out dirt floor dwellings.
After lunch at the campus, Sam brought our devotion about how all are lost in sin and in the dark, but by following God’s light, we will find that He has a plan for each of us. If we could only imagine what God could do with our lives, we would rise up and go. Her challenge to us was to stop asking God for help out of the darkness, but instead to “let go and let God” lead us out on His terms.
Buckets and buckets of cement
Buckets and buckets of water
Chicken inspecting our work
First house complete in record time. Picture with the team and family.
One room nearly complete
More water needed to add to the mix
Second house took a bit longer to finish because not enough materials were on sight. Team picture with the family.
Our afternoon activity involved planting 60 trees at the homes of 6 families. Our gift included 5 papaya trees, 2 mangos, 1 orange, 1, coconut and 1 cashew. Again, we split into two teams, and planted the saplings in locations selected by the home owner. Within a few months, the papaya will begin bearing fruit and the families will be able to provide not only for themselves, but also will be able to take some to market.
In the late afternoon, we went to the market to purchase staples which will be repackaged later in the week for meals of local families. Walking through the market and interacting with the vendors is quite an experience, with sights, sounds and smells that are hard to describe. Let’s just say, it is evident that the statement, “sometimes it’s good not to know how the sausage is made” was definitely coined in Haiti.
Dancing in the Market
Once the truck was unloaded back at the campus, we got a well needed break and a wonderful meal of goat, rice, slaw and of course mango. Matthew followed our meal with a devotion on the subject of being redeemed and the compassion of Jesus. By Christ unselfishly laying his life down for us, we should be willing to do the same for others. Matthew then shared how one of the little boys he met today latched onto him. All this child wanted was to be close to Matthew. He wanted to hold his hand. He wanted to play with him. And in return, the child offered all he had back to Matthew – his one piece of candy and half of the breakfast bar he had just been given a few moments before. Matthew was filled with compassion for a child who willingly showed compassion to him.
We finally got to tour the campus of MH4H. This 6 acre plot of land is an oasis of lush gardens and handsome buildings. An open air pavilion serves as the Equipping Center. Here, MH4H sponsors “The First 1,000 Days”. This program follows children from birth to 3 years, providing a daily meal for both the child and their caregiver along with nutrition and parenting training. After finishing this curriculum, the child has an opportunity to move into a Pre-K program. The plan is to have the first grades of an elementary school on site by 2020.
Another interesting program being run with the families is the “Goat” program (Husbandry Economic Project). Families are given a pregnant goat. In return, MH4H can purchase the baby goats back from the family. We hope to learn more details about this program later in the week when we tour the goat farm.
The newest building, Irene’s House, is a beautiful two story home which was built to house long term missionaries and staff. From the thatched roof gazebo on the top of the structure, we were able to view the entire property as well as the mountains beyond. This quiet place is also the perfect location to experience the stillness and magnificence of God.
At day’s end, we had come full circle. Throughout the day, and everywhere we turned, we saw God’s faithfulness, His mercies and His provisions; whether it was sustaining us through the hard work of pouring a floor in the heat of Haiti, the mercy MH4H has on the community of Pignon, the provision of supplies and trees to help the Haitians have suitable housing or the compassion from a small child willing to give all he has. Great is God’s Faithfulness.