Lori Taylor, with the Spencer Hope Church Team, writes about the teams first days in Haiti

We’re so excited to be here, and share some of experiences with you! I’m a first-timer in Haiti, so it’s been scary and wonderful and fabulous, with a little bit of sensory overload today. So forgive me, if I ramble a bit incoherently.

The new compound is beautiful, and the guest house is wonderful. We have running water, flush toilets, brand new beds (complete with mosquito nets), screens and shutters on the windows, and…drum-roll please…hot water for showers!  Such a blessing for all who will stay here.  Our team will continue with some of the unfinished projects in the house.

Scott & Jerry preparing to work on construction projects this week New mosquito nets in the living quarters

Through the generosity of Hope Church, Bibles were purchased.  They will be given to every family we visit and all the Color Run participants (more on that later). We put stickers on the inside cover that had Matthew 5:14a “You are the light of the world”, in Creole.  Pastor Francois here has told the Haitians that the Word of God is the most precious gift they will receive.

Emily, Carly and Maddie putting stickers in Bibles

We also packed the bags which were purchased with the Vacation Bible School offerings!  Thank you to all those generous kids who helped!  We packed a bowl and a spoon in each bag for the students at Guimby school.

Three high school girls have jumped right in, loving on the local children, leading devotions and killing crickets!  Their expressions have been priceless, and their love of God and love for service are very evident.

The Spencer Hope Church team in the living quarters

After the coolest night in Haiti that the Gabharts can remember, the team had a very busy next day!

Half the team went to pour a cement floor in a home.  The woman who owns the house brings her grandson to the Thrive For Five program.  She was so appreciative of the work that was being done, and thanked all the volunteers (American and Haitian) multiple times. 

Preparing the concrete for the house

Buckets of sand and rock were mixed with bags of concrete and buckets of water.  Then, fire brigade style, the buckets were passed one by one, until the house had a new floor.  The neighbors came to watch and help, and dozens of children in the area came watch, too! 

Pouring a floor is a team effort!

Pouring a floor is a team effort!

Maddie, Emily and Carly made lots of new little friends. We prayed that God would be present in this new floor, and ACTUAL foundation for this family.  We presented the grandmother with a Bible in Creole, and she read the inscription, a blessing for their family, to the group.

The rest of the team painted the pump house prayer room, the gazebo, and the equipping center, first with primer, then top coats.  Construction work continued in the guest house, with Jerry and Scott manning the saw and ladder.

After lunch, Christi took a truckload of team members into town to do some grocery shopping.  She had each of the team members learn how to ask the merchants for the items on the list.  Our translators helped with the phrases in Creole, and it was very interesting to see how groceries are purchased.  Laundry detergent is sold by the scoop.  Bar soap is sold in long strips.  Rice and beans can be purchased by the scoop, or in 50# bags!

Visiting the shop, Christi got everyone to ask for something in Creole!

The devotional message that Calista shared with us at breakfast reminded us that we don’t have to worry about having enough strength…God is our strength.   Strength for carrying buckets of concrete.  Strength for bending over and rolling paint.  Strength for hauling lumber up the ladder.  Strength for stepping out of our comfort zone.  Strength for sharing our faith.  Strength for everything.  Every thing.  Always.

Please keep us in your prayers…physical strength and safety for the work we are doing, and spiritual strength to keep Satan out of the picture, as we do our best to embody and become examples of God’s unconditional love.