Yesterday (Tuesday) Bill, Karl, Simon and I took John to the airport early so he could catch his flight home. After we dropped him off we started our quest to purchase all the materials we would need for the rest of the week. We started off at a place called Eko Depot, which looks just like a Home Depot – it is even painted the same colors. Their service is not quite the same. We went in at 8 a.m. and left at 11 a.m. Everything takes a long time in Haiti – it’s as if you’re in a slow motion dream sometimes. No one is in a hurry in Haiti unless they are driving, then get out of their way! They don’t have to be anywhere at any certain time, but they are going to get there quickly.
When we finished shopping, Simon called Celicia for Karl. Karl and Angie Leiber have been supporting Celicia since she was in an orphanage in Bombardopolis. She is now a young woman and has finished her education in nursing school. Karl asked her to meet us for lunch, and they caught up on her future. When we finished lunch we headed back up to the mission house and got there around 2 p.m.
Pat and Joe had already finished some of the seats and shelves in the bathrooms. This is going to make it so nice, to have a place to sit and a place to put personal items. Each time a team comes they make it a little more comfortable for the next. Every part of the mission house has a story. It’s not perfect, and neither are the people who made it – that’s what makes the story so interesting.
Today (Wednesday) I took Simon to the U.S. Embassy and, I regret to say, they refused him a visa for the second time. They have a standard form that says he did not satisfy that he would return to Haiti (to paraphrase). They will not tell you what they are not satisfied with. Simon has money in the bank, a job, a wife and children of 10 years, owns land and a home, and is in his final year of seminary. How much more do they want? Each time he applies it costs $150. The Embassy sees over 300 Haitians a day, at $150 each, and only grants visas to a very small percentage of them. These are Americans.
After going to the Embassy, Simon and I came back up to the mission house and the guys were all working. Skip & Karl put in Pastor Do’s complete bathroom (sink, toilet and shower) and ran electricity to the lights in the men’s and women’s bathroom in the mission house. Pat and Joe made another seat and shelf for one of the bathrooms. Bill was helping them all, in between changing oil in the generators, fixing a coil on one generator and burying hazardous waste materials from the dental clinic.
It was a good day despite the denial of my brother Simon’s visa. He is an awesome young Christian man. He knows that when God wills him to go to the United States, he will be there. He stays the course. May the Lord bless you all and your families. Thank you for your prayers.