On the Jericho Road….

Work continued in August and September on the house in Raket.  The roof finally went on, the drain pipe from the roof was installed, and the first rain found the people rejoicing that water was going into the cistern!  (See other pics below the update.) 

Things continue to deteriorate in Haiti. On August 8th, the United States closed their embassy in Port au Prince, the capital city of Haiti.  About two weeks ago, the Dominican Republic closed the border with Haiti to ALL traffic!!  No planes. No buses.  No cars.  No pedestrians. No commerce which means no food coming across the border which is a terrible blow to Haiti.  

Below are excerpts from Bill’s thoughts and prayers he sends home telling of life in Haiti where JUST MERCY serves.

Aug. 13 – It was good to visit a few old folks who can’t get out much, bring them a little something to eat (a sack with rice, beans, oil, bouillon, sugar), about 10 pounds of food, I would guess. We measure with gallon and pint cans.  Poor old folks. Even if they have kids, the kids have nothing to give them. I don’t know the exact definition of a famine but I would guess we are close if not currently in one. I hear some old folks on the island are dying of hunger.

Food ready in August to be taken to several old folks we try to help

We resist just giving money to able bodied folks so we continue to try to find some meaningful work for them to do. JUST MERCY has been giving work to about 15 men for a few months at the house in Raket which has a 21,000 gallon cistern under it. This has been the only work going on that I know of on the island of Ile a Vache with a population of 15,000 people.  

The roof framing is going on!!

Aug. 19 – It’s been a long journey, fraught with difficulties at every fork in the road. All plans have gone awry. Always winding up somewhere I never wished to be. Hot, dripping sweat, disappointed with the slow progress, and wishing I was home.

I can go home. Running water! Electricity! Anything I want to eat! Air conditioning! Smooth roads! Relative order!  Law and law enforcement we so little appreciate until you live with none! I can go home.

But they must abide where they are, the Haitian people I mean, with none or very little of what we take for granted.

So I stay, enduring a little, sharing a little, hoping a lot, laughing with a friend, praying each day we are brought a little closer to where we all belong, Home.  Sorrow endureth for a night but joy comes in the morning!

In Christ alone!

August 29 – Never thought of myself as a missionary, at least any more than any other follower of Jesus. Surely we have all been sent on a mission as Jesus said, “You are the light of the world….the salt of the earth.”

I have found myself on “the Jericho road”, so to speak, in Haiti. Folks along the way have fallen among the thieves of this world and I stop as He admonishes us, to lend a hand in some way in whatever the occasion calls for, either physical or spiritual. Wounded, abandoned, hopeless and desperate, then God sends a neighbor.  We have all needed one from time to time.

The sun is just rising, here where I sit by the sea, the beauty of light and sky and clouds, all blended and mounting up above the green of the hillside, always so indescribable. This day, on the road, in some small way, I hope to be the neighbor He has been to me. 

The rising sun

Sept. 10 We will take food today up to an old man with nothing and nobody.  It sounds like he was a blessing to the kids when they were growing up.  He always had something for them.  I’ve met him a few times.  Seems to be a kind old man.  It will be a pleasure to take him some ground corn, black beans, and a bit of this and that……  

We went up to the old man’s house today on the hill. His name is Er, pronounced R. 

Er, an old man we visited 

He has no one to care for him. He has been a blessing to a lot of people when he had anything.  Now he’s by himself with nothing and still has a buoyant spirit. He was so grateful for the food we brought and also gave him some funds to tide him over a few weeks.

I asked him if he knew Jesus. He said ”No, I haven’t seen Him but I have faith in Him. If you don’t have faith in Jesus you don’t have anything.“  I had Ridchie read 1st Corinthians 13 to him in Creole. He said “Amen!”

I told him that he had a love like that in I Corinthians when he helped the children so long ago and that makes God happy with him.  I talked with him about going home to God’s house. “Thank you, thank you so much!” he said. Then we prayed over him and parted with our hearts full.

Ritchie giving some food to Er.

Don’t know what the future holds but I am sure it is hopeless without the Savior. We continue to pray our Father will give us whatever we need to turn our hearts to Him, to His Son, and to find our hope on that hill outside of Jerusalem, at the feet of the Cross, and journey to an empty tomb on resurrection Sunday!

Bill up working on the house in Raket

The tin going on the house in Raket

The pipe going up!

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. 

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