This is written by Keith Roozeboom and Pete Verhey, members of the Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Pella, IA, on their trip to Pignon, Haiti. This is Pete’s 2nd trip to Haiti serving with MH4H and this is Keith’s first.
Dave Gritters meeting his sponsor child from this summer.
Today was our first full day, and it was indeed full. We started out with a little trip to visit some of the kids so many at Calvary are sponsoring at Pella Christian School in Haiti. We climbed on the back of a straight truck and about 30 minutes and 5 miles later, we arrived. Another interesting ride. We met the Principle and he soon began to find the kids, and introduced them to their sponsor. As we travel along the roads the kids walking along and living beside the road are usually shouting and waiving. In this particular setting the kids were shy and polite. Just imagine the situation from their perspective. Up pulls a big truck, and a whole group of white people want to take you out of class and try to talk to you in a different language. There were a few Haitian men associated with Many Hands for Haiti that served as translators so we were able to have a brief conversation with them.This is the site layout for the next phase of construction at Savanette. The group prayed at this ground as construction will start next week.
On our way back we stopped at a plot of ground that has just been cleared in preparation to build a headquarters for Many Hands for Haiti. We filled out and buried prayer cards and then prayed together for God’s blessing on this important venture.
After lunch we did it again, except this time the truck was also loaded with paint and supplies. Another 30 minutes and 5 miles later we arrived at an other school that needed painting. The kids attend school only in the mornings but as we rolled up, they came from everywhere and had a good time watching the white folks paint their school inside and out. We were able to accomplish more than expected but still plan to return another day to finish the job. It was a busy day filled with the wonders of a completely different culture. Even though our lives are so different we share God’s love for us.
What a day!!! We were able to show the love of Jesus Christ to others in so many ways and we felt His love coming back to us from the people of Haiti. I was able to give a package of various gift to Jesula Augustin, the sponsored child of Bruce and Carol Ribbens. She appeared to be a bit afraid of me at first but as we went through the items, I asked the interpreter to ask her to let me see her smile as I smiled back at her. Her face lit up with the most wonderful smile that warmed my heart for the rest of the day. As we worked today and saw more smiling children, I could not help but think about the spirit and the souls of these little ones. Just like us they need Jesus. We did a lot of work today but there is just so much more to do. It appears to me that Haiti and Pignon have made progress since I was here last July. It is hard to believe, but the roads are somewhat better, especially in Pignon where almost all the streets are now paved. Pray that Haiti will continue to make progress with it’s infrastructure and that the leaders may do what is good for the people of Haiti.The group looks forward to delivery more PETS units this trip. This one was delivered this summer.
The delivery of four PET carts is on schedule for next Tuesday. We hope to go into the country side on that day to see how country living in Haiti is different than living in Pignon. I believe Jean Robert has families lined up for these visits as well as the PET distributions. I saw the PET cart boxes in the Iowa house today. The boxes looked like they had been through a war. I hope the contents are in tact. In reading the label on the adult PET I noticed that that particular unit came from De Motte Ind. where Bob Gabrieles, grandson of Steve Gabrieles, a former member of Calvary CRC, started a PET affiliate about a year ago. Small world!!!
Joan and Sheldon are keeping everyone up late at night with their noisy card games. Everyone seems to be having a good experience in spite of the rough truck rides and sunburn. We continue to get closer as a group as we spend time serving our Lord in this country. We share , we sing, we focus on what God would have us do this week. It is late and I am tired. Good night!!
-Pete W. Verhey