Bill flew into Haiti on June 1st and immediately went to the Yamaha dealer in Port au Prince to pick up a boat motor that had been donated for a boat that had been gifted to JUST MERCY by Agape Flights as part of their hurricane/earthquake relief efforts to aid missionaries in Haiti. This is a huge boon for JUST MERCY as we spend a large amount of time traveling back and forth across the sea carrying materials and people to serve at different locations. This boat and motor will make those trips faster and safer! We are forever grateful for this generous donation by Agape Flights to the efforts of JUST MERCY. You can read more about Agape’s gift in their summer newsletter here: https://www.agapeflights.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Summer-2022-Agape-Flights-Flightline-FINAL_web.pdf
Our friend, Jim, joined Bill in Port au Prince the next day and they traveled to our base on Ile a Vache with a specific goal in mind for this trip: to obtain the supplies and finalize logistics to make a trip to Janou and hopefully get the side walls and roof up on the church/school. Because of the location of the village of Januo, the long grueling hike, lack of water and food and sleeping arrangements, the project is taking much longer than if it was in a more accessible place.
Before the plans could be implemented, they had to stop and work on the old 1995 Toyota pick-up for three days to get it running. On one of those days, Bill left Jim with the mechanics and took a moto into Les Cayes to order materials for Janou and arrange to get them to the trailhead to be taken up the mountain.
On June 11, B.J. and Barney arrived in Haiti to help.The team spent a day organizing and preparing for the trip up the mountain, leaving the next morning for the arduous journey to Janou.
When they arrived in the afternoon at the mountain village , they started in to build the side walls of the church. Though framing for the side walls and the tin for the roof had been purchased and brought up the mountain, it was necessary to purchase trees locally to be cut down and cut by hand into the 2” thick large rafters 18 foot long which without modern day tools is a difficult and time consuming task. When they arrived, they found that only four rafters had been cut, therefore finishing the roof this trip would not be possible. It’s important for residents of this village to be a part of this project and that may mean we work with their abilities and skills.
Unfortunately, Bill came down with a fever and cough on the 2nd day. He was still able to contribute but required rest during the construction project.
Upon returning to Ile a Vache from Janou, time was spent working on the sawmill motor which needed some repair. During the next couple of days they had the lumber cut on the sawmill that will be used for siding on the half walls of the church/school in Janou on the next trip. On June 18th, the team left Haiti with hopes of a near future trip to complete the church/school. (Scroll down for additional pictures!)
While in Janou, Bill and B.J. went to visit the old man of the village. Bill tells the story:
We were up early the second day in Janou to go find the rafters that were supposed to be cut from timber in the woods. We stopped by to see Papi. This photo is from a year or two ago.He is now almost bed ridden. He has been such a delight to get to know! Not doing too well physically now but still sharp and animated. I sat down beside him to talk and listen a minute. B.J. was with me.
He started talking about a dream he had a long time ago. He called it a revelation, about people coming up to help them here in Janou. He said “Some Haitian came for a short time but I know you are the people in my dream. You are here and you have stayed to help us and to help us build a church. We know you love God and work for things eternal and we all thank you for that! I wish I could go out and see the church when you finish.”
B.J. had tears in his eyes and I was close to it. “ Papi,” I said, “When we get it finished, we will come and carry you down so you can see it.” What a treasure he is.
But Papi may not make it till next trip. I may have to try to find some help and come back sooner than planned. God knows. Bondye konnen.
Encounters like this are the reason we work in Haiti, to bring God’s light and hope to the people there who live in poor conditions most of us can’t even imagine. It’s also why we are currently beginning a fundraising campaign for a newer and more reliable vehicle.
The old truck we have has been used over the last 12 years to haul people, supplies, medicine, plants, and whatever was needed to get the job done. We have seldom sent out fundraising requests over that time but we are in desperate need for a vehicle. Please consider sharing this need with your church, family, and friends as almost everything we do depends on having reliable transportation to haul needed supplies, food, teams etc. to serve the people in Haiti.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support over the years. We are grateful beyond measure. God bless you all!