Monday, May 6, 2013

Spring Update Part 1

So much has happened in the last few months, we are going to update everyone over a series of blogs this week. We were blessed to find and purchase a new set of wheels. In mid-February, Chadasha purchased a 2010 Ford Ranger to be used at our ministry site in Montrouis. What a blessing! We are now able to haul people, materials, and supplies more effectively.

The cute ones in our family.

In late February we began digging our well. What a challenge! We opted to use a Haitian company in an effort to save funds and time that was recommended to us by a fellow missionary. The drilling crew showed up with the most rudimentary of tools. Simple but effective...

The drilling rig and napping spot.

  After 2 hours of digging with these pipes, they hit rock and commenced to digging by hand. Two men (ages 54 & 43) hand dug the well to 32 feet deep. Their only tools  were a small piece of re-bar and a 5 gallon bucket with a rope attached to it. The digging took 6 days of very hard and dangerous work. To be honest, it made me more than a little nervous to have these guys digging so deep
underground. At 32 feet they hit water, & we began pumping to test the aquifers feeding the well. We were unable to pump the well dry after 12 hours pumping at 8K gallons an hour. Needless to say, we have a amazingly sufficient well!

 The new well, look closely and you can see a bucket in the bottom.

"Gran Moun," age 54, bathing in our new well after a week of hard work!

More than satisfied with that volume, we installed the pump!

As soon as the we determined the volume and quality of the well, we began to dig our cistern. A large cistern, or water storage tank, is critical to day-to-day life at the Retreat Center. We will attempt to continuously pump a small volume of water from our well to be stored in the cistern for mass consumption to ensure ample water supply at high demand times. Our new cistern will hold nearly 8000 gallons of water from the well. The crew completed excavation with 6 men in 5 days digging through solid rock. They worked efficiently with 3 men busting rock and 3 men shoveling. We've also begun our septic tank pit for our bathrooms facility.

Day 2 digging out the cistern.

The work is hard, but we have a wonderful crew working with us to see the project through.

The longer we are in Haiti, it feels like we know less about Haiti. Everyday, we are presented with new problems and challenges. There is so much need, it is often overwhelming. We don't pretend to have the answers.  This spring we have been able to provide work to 8 men on a regular basis. I have been extremely intentional to build relationships with each of these men and  introducing the Gospel to them. We take time each day during lunch to discuss the bible and pray. It's been a learning experience for me as most of the time they ask questions that I don't have good answers to. This sends me back to the Word in search of answers to their questions. They don't realize it, but they are teaching me more about community and caring for others than I could ever imagine.