An Exciting Beginning and a Tragedy

Bill was finally able to return to Haiti on April 27th.  People and needs were waiting.  They are never ending.  

Someone here in the states saw the picture of the foundation in the mountain village of Janou and heard how one of our hopes was to build a church/school with a water cistern there.  The village children who are able to go to school currently have a 3 hour walk down the mountain and then back up to do so.  The village’s water source is 1 1/2 miles away!  It was so exciting to be given a generous contribution to start work on that dream!

To work on this is going to take a huge amount of effort and many trips up the mountain.  Each trip starts with a voyage from our base on IAV to the mainland from Ile a Vache.  Bill tells the tale.

“Trade winds were up when we shoved off, blowing from the east northeast. Just right for a sail across the channel between Ile a Vache, the island I’m on, and the mainland. Had everything all sorted the day before for the trip up the mountain to begin work on the church building there.  Looks like it might be wet upstairs as they call it. Don’t know if you can make it out but up near the top of that mountain is where we are headed. 

We made landfall in Bedzimel, about 11 miles across the sea, where we keep the old rusty Toyota pickup and took it to the trail head about 1 1/2 hours away mostly on first and second gear roads.

Everything took longer than we planned, what with losing the wind half way over and the voyage taking two extra hours, buying food in Solon, the small town on the way, etc… we arrived at the trail head mid afternoon, the hottest part of the day.  Friends from Janou were all waiting for us when we arrived. 

And the real journey began.”

Bill spent two days and nights in Janou getting things organized.

“I feel like we got a good start on the project.  Trees are being bought for rafters. Arrangements were made with the man that will saw them all by hand.  Also arranged to have the cistern dug.  Buying mules to transport two hundred 100 pound bags of cement half way up the mountain to the river where the blocks will be made and then taken the rest of the way. The church members from Janou will work together to help and they are all excited!!

The foundation in Janou

We packed up on the third morning and left after the rain.  It rains almost every morning in May up there.  As we picked our way down the mountain, it started raining again. You have to put your foot on the point or edge of the rocks to keep from slipping. Steep!  Mud clinging to your sandals till they are so heavy you have to stop and scrape them off.

But my mind and heart were filled with gratitude for all the gifts I have been blessed with, but mostly for the gift of knowing the Shepherd King. Where would we be without Him?

It’s hard to hold the tears back when I think of how much more I have than those I just left behind. I hope I can make better use of the time I have been given and Jesus be lifted up.” 

“Cause I’m just a nobody trying to tell everybody
All about somebody who saved my Soul!!  
Ever since you rescued me, You gave my heart a song to sing.  
I’m living for the world to see nobody but Jesus!”  

– Nobody by Casting Crowns

Before we close this update, we’d like to ask for prayers for a lady on the island.  This is Azou and her husband Ti Jo.  They are one of the older couples that receive food from JUST MERCY. Ti Jo was a hard worker, digging up roots out of ponds to make charcoal to sell.

Tragedy struck on the 17th of May.  Some people were arguing, brandishing machetes. Ti Jo stepped in to try to stop it. A 14 year old girl stabbed him in the back with a fishing spear and killed him.

Please pray for comfort and sustenance for Azou and also for this poor girl whose life will never be the same.

Thank you for your prayers and help.  May God bless you all!  



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