Steve Lucas (pictured on the left side in the Built 4 God t-shirt) has worked for Many Hands since July 2021 as the District Manager of the thrift stores. This was his first trip to Haiti.
1023! What does that number mean? That number doesn’t mean much to many but to our Many Hands team and to one deserving family, it means the one thousand and twenty-third concrete floor installed by Many Hands. This floor would be the one that I get to work on and be a part of.
Our team working on the floor consists of 7 Many Hands staffers from the US, 3 Many Hands staffers from Haiti, and the husband who lives in the home.
We arrived at the home at the base of Mount Pignon early in the morning intentionally to try and get as much done before the heat of the day kicked in. We were fortunate because we had rain and a cool night the night before. All of our materials were at the home when we arrived, sand, rock, bags of concrete, and water. Our professional floor staff had done all the prep work and leveling before we arrived.
Prior to starting, we had time with the family. Melissa used her Polaroid camera and took pictures of the children and presented the photos to them. The children were thrilled with seeing their own image, maybe for the first time. Now concrete is mixing our bucket brigade formed and we were ready to turn a dirt floor into concrete. It only took around two hours of Haitians working side by side with Americans to complete the concrete floor and a small pad of concrete for a front porch. While we didn’t completely understand each other, all of us understand the language of work. It was amazing to see the instant comradery built as we worked hard together, tried out Creole words, and laughed as we mispronounced them time and time again.
“While we didn’t completely understand each other, all of us understand the language of work. It was amazing to see the instant comradery built as we worked hard together…”
“God put all of us in the position to work together, help one another and bring the light to where there’s darkness.”
With the work completed, we took a photo of the work crew and family, shared our goodbyes, shared hugs, and parted ways having made a small difference. Just before we left, Jon was focused on stopping a poul(chicken) from getting into the house and leaving tracks in the concrete. Jon looked like a linebacker from a football team as he crowed and did everything, he could to prevent the poul from making entry. I leaned over to Melissa and told her to get her phone ready because something was about to happen and we would want evidence of the event later. Jon bobbed, the poul weaved and walked all through the freshly poured concrete leaving its mark forever on the family’s floor. I looked at Melissa, and she said “I got it” and she got it on video. What a great way to end an amazing morning.
God put all of us in the position to work together, help one another and bring the light to where there’s darkness. Today I feel like we made a difference. I feel like I made a small difference. At the end of the day, I reflected on what we got to experience throughout the day and the one thing I keep coming back to is with more resources available to the Haitians, they could flourish. The Haitians are hard-working people that aren’t looking for a handout. They may just be looking for people to walk with them and show them how, so they can lead their own people to a future that they earn for themselves.
Bondye beni ou.
Written by: Steve Lucas