When I committed to going on this trip, I knew it was going to be some hard labor. More than any other trip in the past. I was prepared for it and I was ready to get started on Monday morning. And there wasn’t any messing around when it came to the work that needed to be done. We were up at 5 am, loading the trucks at 6 and working till 4 each day. We were there to serve and we got a lot done.

Our first order of business was to go to Repatriote. As I mentioned yesterday, when Leon saw the size of our group and all the guys we brought, the projects he had for us all went out the window. One of the churches that supports Leon had sent a 120′ X 80′ tent for Leon to use at the Repatriote site. Their building was destroyed in the earthquake causing the congregation to meet in a crowded room each Sunday. So, when Leon saw us, he knew we were his one shot to get this tent up. And, well our group has never told Leon no in the past and we sure weren’t going to start on this trip!

The land he wanted to put the tent on was being used as a landfill. There were large rocks, trash, and even some glass that had to be cleared from the area. 

So we spent Monday clearing out the area of rocks and trash. We also filled in some holes so the land would be as level as possible. On Tuesday, 6 truck loads of gravel was delivered. With the help of some Hatians, we spread the gravel out and made the area level.

Wednesday morning, we layed out the tent.

Then after a quick lunch field trip, we began raising it up. Our first try didn’t go so well because the wind there is so strong. There were a few times where I really thought the tent was going to become a big kite and fly off to Cuba! But after a water break, some regrouping, and some instructions, we tried again. And the second time was successful! We were so excited to get it up. It took all 30 of us as well as a few Haitians. But we got it up, tied down, and staked down and it looked awesome!

I love this picture below. It shows the old building that collapsed and the tent behind it where they will hold service for the next year until the church is rebuilt. What an awesome site!

Thursday night, Leon invited our group to attend the first church service held under the tent. It was great to see how thankful and grateful the people were for our help putting the tent up. It was really touching to see how a tent can provide so much hope for these people. In the service, Leon asked a few of our people to come speak while he translated. It was a great chance for us to express our sympathy for what they had been through and to let them know we pray for them daily and that we will always be brothers and sisters in Christ. This tent is going to be great tool that Lord will use in this community. Because of it’s size, it will be a beacon in this area and hopefully will bring more people to the Lord.

Other than the tent project, we did a lot of work at City Soliel as well. There were 2 or 3 major projects we tackled. The first was a painting project. One of the school buildings sufferred a lot of cracks from the earthquake. They had been patched but had left a lot of ugly concrete marks in the classrooms that needed to be painted. Most of you probably had the same thought as me…we are in Haiti. They should be happy the building is standing, you know? Paint would not be a concern to me. But after getting started on the project, it became apparent that this project was so much more than painting. We were covering cracks. Cracks that remind these children daily of the traumatic experience they went through when the earthquake hit. The cracks that were a constant reminder of the 2 minutes they spent fearing for their life. I can’t even begin to imagine what they went through and if us painting over the cracks can help them continue to heal, then please hand me a paint brush.

Below is a shot of the 2 main school buildings. The building on the left side is the building we painted. We primed and painted all 4 classrooms, all the windows, a few offices, and also did a coat of that lovely Bremuda Green on the outside walls. Even though none of us were crazy about painting (or the fumes), we did for the glory of God. And in the end, we were quite proud of our work!

I included this picture of Charity and her paint spot where she ran into the wet wall mostly because I just like the picture. I think it also gives you a mental picture of what the fumes were doing to us. Look at that face! Love you Char!

Another project we did was a lot of hauling rocks and concrete blocks. When the projects get started, the first order of business if to order the rock and concrete blocks. Well, when they arrive in the trucks, they tend to get unloaded where ever there is a spot. The project might not necessarily be taking place right next to the pile though. So, alot of what we did was distrubute the rock and blocks to all the sites where rebuilding was taking place. I think we hauled some crazy number like 700 concrete blocks in a day. We also moved a lot of rocks in wheel barrows, buckets, and even by hand over to a site where they were building a foundation for a house.

Snagged these next 2 pics from Charity…thanks lovie!

The other project we worked on at City Soliel was the back wall. THe earthquake had caused part of it collapse. So, we began the process of helping to build it back. I didn’t spend too much time back here helping as I was busy painting for a good portion of the week when I wasn’t helping with the tent or hauling rock. But we made some good progress and were able to donate our gloves to the Haitian workers on our last day. They were grateful for the help!

So, that was pretty much our work week. We worked hard all day from about 6am to 4pm and then would come home to shower, eat, do a group devotion, and then head to bed around 9. They were long hot days but it’s really hard to get down when you see how the Haitians live like this every day to try and rebuild their country.

Tomorrow I’ll share with you our last day and also our journey home. And I do mean JOURNEY home!