Members of the Gritters Electric team share experiences from their week so far:

Mark Richards –
The day started like the past few days here in Haiti. We woke up, ate breakfast, and headed out to the job site to continue our wiring project. However, today we got the chance to go out into the community of Pignon and deliver food to families in need of it. Seeing the other homes we saw on the way from the airport to Pignon I expected to see some rather poor conditions. We ventured into the city and stopped at a local market store to buy the food that we were going to deliver. It wasn’t a Hy-Vee or Wal-mart by far. We loaded our pickup with the food and were off to our first home.

We drove up to the first home which was the home of a single dad with several kids. He spent what little money he had caring for his wife and then had to use the rest for a funeral soon after. He looked of a man who was down on life hoping for something to help make life a little easier. We delivered the food and had a prayer for the family then moved on to the next home.

The next home we stopped at was an elderly lady who lived by herself. Living by yourself and alone is hard enough but when you have to add in the fact that there is no retirement fund for her to use for money makes life even harder. We again delivered the food and had a prayer with the family and moved on to the next home.

On our way to the last house we could smell the sweet smell of cooking sugar cane in the air which means there is a rum maker near. The rum maker was on the way to the next home so we made a quick stop to check it out. There’s one thing that Haiti has in common with everywhere and that is if there is a way to make alcohol the locals will find it and there is always someone around to buy it. We walked through and saw the process and then loaded up to head to our last home.

We drove down a tiny one lane drive to the home of another elderly woman and her husband who was almost crippled due to the crazy driving and lack of caring for a person walking. The man was hit by a truck a while ago but now has to live with a broken leg that was never fixed. This makes it nearly impossible to do any kind of manual labor.

The team with the old Haitian couple

The team with the old Haitian couple

Come to find out the elderly man uses a walker to walk into Pignon that takes him three hours one way to just get there. We walk up the home and the elderly woman meet us at the door. As we talked to her about how life has been going for her she tells us that she was laying on her dirt floor praying because her and her husband were starving. We had a prayer with them and took a picture together and went back to the pickup.

We start our travels back to our place of stay but then decide to check out “The Bridge”. The bridge is a one motorcycle wide, wooden planked, high bridge crossing a river. We walked over the not stable but wobbly bridge just to say we did. After checking out the bridge, skipping rocks, and eating pure sugar cane from the stock we ventured back to our place of stay for supper and a time of relaxing. 

Byron Vander Molen –
We have been working in the dorm which has 2 floors on the east side, a center commons area and a single floor on the west side. After doing electrical for a couple days, we was able to hook temporary power from the generator to the lights, outlets and paddle fans. Except for a couple glitches, everything  worked. Tomorrow we hope to hook up the solar panels to the electrical system.

Wiring the living quarters

A couple of my highlights of this trip has been the sleeping in the very cold airport overnight Sunday night, the midnight to 2 A.M. unloading of four tap-taps(trucks) of PETS, 80 buckets of paint, and other supplies sent over on the container from the States. The best highlight was Wednesday afternoon, we took a motorcycle ride North of Savanette to visit my sponsored boy, Jide. We walked down a trail to an area that was very rocky and found him sitting on a rock, he looked just like he does on the picture I have from MH4H.

Byron and Jide, his sponsor child

Our plans are one more day of electrical today, Saturday we plan to visit the market and then a four hour drive to Port au Prince to come back home. It has been a good time in Haiti again this visit.

Dave Gritters –
Things have been going well for our team.  Byron, Mark, Curt, and Tony spent yesterday morning working in the guest house electrical again.  The wiring was not as far complete in the house as what we anticipated when we left Pella, but this did give us the opportunity to finish wiring the first floor and fully wire the second floor.  We are hoping to be able to complete the solar install today – in Haiti things don’t always go as planned – but they always go as God has planned for you. I feel good about having the house wired in a safe manner. 

My day yesterday consisted of helping with a leadership conference at the site as well.  I think Eric was going to blog about this so I won’t say much.  It was fun to be able to share with them, to talk about life experiences.  I am left with how much I love to listen to Haitian worship, at one point I just wondered what praise and worship will sound like in Heaven – all the different languages that God created coming back to him as worship.  I ended the day by going on a moto ride with my friend John Robert, to go see how his new house is coming along, as well as his school and church.  Riding with John and watching all the people smile and wave to him, or stop him to talk with him just reminds me of the social aspect of Haitian life that I love. 

Thanks for all your continued prayers – we have been having a great week and we are also excited to be coming home again soon.