Unless otherwise specified, all reports are from Brother Chuck
I have been in Haiti for four days now and this is the first time I have had time to send an entry–I hit the ground running and have not stopped. Simon and I have not been getting back to the mission house till seven or eight o’clock every night. Haiti is still here with all its problems. I flew in on Oct. 25, and that day was really uneventful. Simon and I went to exchange some U.S. money to Haitian currency, and we bought a few groceries for the mission house. It was late when we finished, and I stayed at what used to be Dottie’s Guest House. It is now called Our Father’s House, and a wonderful lady named Linda is running it. She has been in and out of Haiti since 1986, if I remember correctly. The same staff is still there, and Mr. Brown, the dog, is still the security. I will miss Dottie.
The next day, Oct. 26, the fun began. I thought it would be a simple day, but who am I trying to fool? We were supposed to go by and pick up our bunk beds and mattresses and take them to the mission house. I thought, if we can just get this done it will be a good day. When we arrived, the beds were not even close to what I had ordered. I had sent photos and measurements, plus I had someone go by and look at what I wanted. I was speechless! (I know that is hard for some of you to believe.) I didn’t want to hurt these young men’s feelings (it’s a Vo-tech school), but I had to tell the man in charge that I didn’t really know what to do, but I couldn’t accept these beds. We talked for a while, and even tried to rebuild one, but it was no use. I told him whatever we needed to do to make it right between the two ministries, I would be good with it. I told him if there is one thing we don’t need, it is to have hard feelings with ministries we work with. We had a great talk, and came out with an agreement we could both live with. We are getting much better beds, and I am helping cut the legs for them. When they finish the rest of the parts of the beds, they will bring them to the mission house Wednesday, and we will assemble them. I look forward to it–the man in charge has never been up in this area. We will make him and his workers a Haitian lunch and show him around–I know he has never been to a voodoo village.
Oct. 27, Thursday, could have started out better. We now have tile floor in the mission house and it is beautiful–the only thing is, it makes you realize the walls need to be painted. That is one of the things on the long list for our teams to do when they get here. I told the men to be very careful bringing the generator in through the front door, because they could break the tile. You guessed it–they broke the tile at the front door, of all places. We had gotten up at 5 a.m., and I was trying to leave to go to a meeting with several pastors in downtown PAP about a Haiti festival in March 2012. I quickly decided to have a boss build a concrete ramp for us, so this won’t happen again. We had to find him and negotiate a price, so then I was ready to go. Not yet–Gabriel had to be moved, so I jumped in to move it, and it would not start. The new batteries I had bought were not connected, so then I had to wait while they found wrenches and connected the batteries. Then it started–hallelujah!! But when I went to move it, I had no brakes. I have a team coming in, I need to use the truck, and I have no brakes and no one told me. Okay, forget about this for now and go to Port, and have Blanco take a look at the brakes.
I went to the meeting for the festival, and it really is going to be great. Andrew Palau, an evangelist, was there. He has been many places around the world doing these festivals. It will be a 3-day event of music and fun for all, with Andrew Palau preaching the Gospel. This event will cost over a million dollars.
After the meeting, Simon and I went and worked on the beds until after dark.
Today we went into Port and bought the mattresses for the bunk beds and had them delivered. I actually have a full-size bed with a real mattress in my room–I look forward to sleeping on it. I don’t think it is too extravagant after serving in Haiti for 12 years. We will have 12 bunk beds, 24 beds, hopefully Wednesday. After delivering the beds to Z’Orange, Simon and I went to buy some water, and I went back to work on the beds in Port. We left early today from Port and got back to Z’Orange about 6 p.m.–it was dark, but this is the earliest we have made it in. We had a mechanic come up and look at Gabriel. He said the master cylinder needed something, so he took it to Port to get it fixed. I hope he comes back.
Even in all this chaos, God is so, so good. I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Jesus said it would not be easy–He was right, but there is joy and peace in the middle of it all.