Today has been a busy day; this is usually the way it is before a team comes in. (This week we will have the 2nd Annual Teachers Conference.) Nobody really understands what it takes to get prepared for a team, so I thought I would tell you a little about it. On my first day here Simon, Ginette and I went directly to the grocery, which is several miles away from the mission house in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Here we bought most of the groceries we will need and exchanged money – $1 U.S. for $9 Haitian. Then we headed up the mountain to the mission house to put away groceries and begin dusting. We cover important things with sheets each time before we leave, but the dust goes right though the sheets – everything is covered with dust. Before you can even sit down, the chairs have to be dusted. This is where Ginette is awesome; she started cleaning, dusting, washing (25 sets of sheets, pillowcases and towels, hanging them outside to dry). While doing the laundry she was dusting everything from the shelves in the pantry to the windowsills, and cleaning the screens.
The second day Simon and I went to Port and filled up propane tanks and bought lumber for the shelves that will be in the new library. The Cinco Christian School team and others are bringing in books to start this library. When we got back to the mission house we had to arrange to have 15 gallons of fuel delivered to get us started with the mission house generators. As we were doing this one of the generators stopped running, so we worked on it the rest of the afternoon and, praise God!, as usual God started it working again. I think He still wants me to be a mechanic – He knows I hate that. On the third day I painted 4 bathrooms and the kitchen, touched up walls inside the mission house, and purified 40 gallons of water for drinking. I had Blanco stain the shelves for the library – don’t worry, Clint, you are going to put them up – while Simon helped a mechanic work on Gabriel. One of the brake pads needed to be replaced, and I’m just getting too old to take a tire off Gabriel. As Clint Eastwood said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”
Now the fun part of the day, the reason we’re here – to bless people in the name of Jesus. If we’re not here to show the love of Christ, we need to go home. As I watched the children today eating the food that is given to us by our Lord through Feed My Starving Children and Love a Child, I remembered how chaotic it was when we first came here. It was very difficult to give out food or to have a medical clinic without having a riot. I remember standing many times on top of Gabriel, yelling at the top of my voice for the crowd to back up. We would have to shut down and physically push the crowds back so that we could regroup. Scripture says that God is not the author of confusion. God is in this valley now; we don’t have that confusion anymore. Because of the many Americans who have come here over the last 15 years and shown the love of Christ, and because of organizations like Global Outreach (David & Judy Heady) drilling wells, and Feed My Starving Children (Mark Crea and Matt Muraski) and Love A Child (Bobby and Sherry Burnette) supplying food, the chaos is gone.
Look at these happy little kids eating in peace, thanking Jesus before their meal. There are also some little girls who wanted me to thank the Americans, Cris & John Pope from Pensacola, for their new flip flops. Just look at what they were wearing; that is, the ones who even had shoes.
I have begun to really understand that the children are so important. Thank you all for making the work of TEM possible. May the Lord bless you and your families.