“Sometimes through the days, it’s hard to see or remember the significance of what we are really doing amongst all the daily tasks of hauling water, sand, gravel, rocks, and rebar to Rakèt where we are building a cistern. But think what a blessing to the people to have water closer than a half mile away!
The cistern ready for the roof
We consider all the money spent on local labor for the construction of the cistern and are reminded, this is the only gainful employment on the island. Fourteen to sixteen men are working, earning, and being able to feed their families something more than a mango or a banana when they are available.
Men working on the house in Raket
Life is increasingly more difficult in Haiti. The gangs control much of the cities causing the price of commodities to rise while the gourde (Haitian currency) continues to fall against the dollar devaluing any money people might send from the states. All the materials we have purchased have significantly increased in price during the short time we have been working on this cistern project. Giving people work and wages for a few weeks or months is more meaningful than we can realize.
The cistern top has been poured!!
B.J. and Barney returned to Haiti with their friend Glenn on June 4th. Besides working in Raket, the team made the hike up the mountain to Janou. We went with food to share a meal with everyone. We gathered together and Barney talked to the people for a bit about how all good gifts come from a loving Father’s hand and that God used us to carry His gifts to them. Our Father God is the one we owe thanks to for His love and the grace and mercy He bestows. Then Barney prayed for us all.
A meal for many
Meeting with the elders there we found out that their harvest of black beans was lost to the drought. They planted all the seed they had with no means to replenish. JUST MERCY will buy them seed to replant for a fall crop.
We hope to commence with school in the fall. Clip boards, paper, books, and hopefully an identifying uniform will need to be supplied. We have two teachers lined up, two young men from the village itself. This will save the children a six hour round trip hike to school each day! They will be able to study and learn in their own village the basics of education and Christianity.
Some of the church at Janou
I talked with the leaders there about teaching lessons like Jesus, involving the children in their own environment like Jesus did with the parables of God’s Kingdom, and the love without which we can accomplish nothing. 1 Cor. :13. It was a great visit with joyful greetings and some sorrowful goodbyes.
For King and Kingdom, Bill”
While the team was there that week, JUST MERCY provided food for meals to be cooked in three different villages that JUST MERCY works in, Baiu de Mesle, Raket, and Janou, serving over 800 people! It was exciting to go to Janou and find their new cistern half full of water, saving the people that three hour hike they’ve made for years just to have water to survive!! Also, additional needed boards were put up on the Janou building to keep the sun and rain out.
B.J. helping put up boards on church/school in Janou
Barney wrote: “What I witnessed was the Spirit of God working through JUST MERCY. Love, Grace, and Compassion were the works that were accomplished, from the water cisterns being built to the ones being used to provide clean water to the food that was cooked and served in several villages. Loving the people and them loving us was God’s work. Haiti is not good at any time but there are things happening in PAP that are terrifying. Love on your children and grandchildren. Don’t stress about things that will not matter five years from now, The Haitian people wonder where their next meal will come from. Will they have clean water and safety? What we deem as important may not be when we look at things through someone else’s eyes. Please support JUST MERCY with your prayers and your donations so they can continue to help these people. God Bless.”
Glenn wrote: “Being able to feed approximately 800 people at 3 locations during our week there was such a blessing. But knowing that after we left each location they would revert to a more subsistence diet was heart wrenching. The anticipation and gratitude on each face was very visible.
Some of the people waiting to be fed
In Haiti at the compound, I had a bed with a fan and mosquito net and a toilet and shower (of sorts). When away from the compound we often slept on the ground with no fan, a cover, no shower and a very primitive toilet. Such a difference compared to our lives in the states!
Toilet in the mountain village of Janou
The needs in Haiti are great but often the response is money with no follow up. I saw a clinic that was a building completed with no follow up. When needed, there was no doctor or help available. I saw an ambulance boat that delivered a lady and her groceries to the island but was unavailable for transporting an injured man until the next day.
Everything done in Haiti should be for the good of the people and not for a “photo op” to obtain donations. On the trip with JUST MERCY, people were fed, fellowship was happening with the children, and projects were worked on. The people saw our faces, saw us sweat, saw us tired, and saw us helping. I saw no empty photo op, only caring, helping, and love.
I returned home with a greater appreciation for my life which has been enriched by the experiences of Haiti. My prayers include the people and situation in Haiti. Despite everything, I saw joy and happiness on the faces of the people.”
Just Mercy operates solely on donations from generous folks like yourself. God takes those gifts and multiplies them in order to serve the multitude. As cost of living continues to rise in all of our worlds, we don’t take your gift for granted and want you to know the people in Haiti are shown the love of Jesus and His gracious gifts of provision are from people who have been blessed and choose to bless others. Thank you in advance for all you do to keep the work of Just Mercy continuing in these villages of Haiti.
The June 2023 team: Barney, B.J., Glenn, & Bill
Cooking a meal for all in Janou
The beginning of a home/depot, Haitian style, in Janou
The team working in Raket