Saturday, January 7, 2017

Mission House Going up

The mission house building project is well underway, as two dozen or so local men have been happily employed over the last several weeks.  The property that was purchased years ago is now realizing its purpose, and will, Lord willing be the location of a mission home and church, with room for future growth to focus on specific needs. It's been interesting to watch it all coming together. Barry's days are mostly spent being "boss" alongside Merlin, while still having Bible studies and preaching as time permits.

A larger building project like this is another excellent opportunity to financially help many families at the same time through the long term work provided. They are learning about consistent work ethic, that it's not just what you do when the boss is looking. They are learning about dependability, efficiency,  how to build things plumb and square, and honesty. Most importantly, they are being exposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, both in hearing and seeing. 

The house is designed to be home for a mission family, with plenty of space for "teams" to come and have a place to stay while they work and minister in Haiti. The picture above shows a small concrete pad in front of the future garage, attached to the house. . What a blessing it will be to have a place to fix and maintain vehicles! 

When the concrete for the slab of the main house was poured, it was a very busy, fast paced day, with nearly 30 people working together for hours and hours in the heat of the day. Typically, concrete is mixed on the ground with a shovel, then hauled with a five-gallon bucket to the prepared area.  Since this was a fairly large pad of concrete to pour, a cement mixer was rented for the day, and it still took many hands to work efficiently.  Some carried water from the nearby canal, some fed cement into the mixer, and several formed a line from the mixing area to the place that was being poured.  They would  fill a bucket, then quickly pass it down the line until the last man received it and poured it into place. They all worked hard for their wages that day!

Merlin supervises while the first row of block is laid for interior walls.

Sunday mornings, thankfully, are still "preaching days."   We have been back in Oscar's church, down the road, as well as a newly formed church in the area. One well-loved pastor was fired from his position because of allowing guest speakers to preach "things the church doesn't agree with," namely, preaching against sin. Several people left the church with the pastor, and they meet regularly in a quaint little structure in the pastor's front yard. They don't seem to mind that they left one of the "fancy" churches in the area, and now come to worship with only tarps overhead and palm leaves for walls.  The dirt floor doesn't matter either when, perhaps, they are seeking after the truth. 

We are rejoicing again for God's protection, and thankful for all the prayers daily lifted up for Barry's safety! Last Monday, a tap-tap (one of the colorful old pick-ups all over the roads that are used for taxis) made a sudden left turn with no turn signal, just as Barry was approaching on a motor bike. He reacted quickly enough to lock up the breaks and lay the bike down right before impact, and Barry skidded down the road apart from the bike. He walked away with some painful road burns, a sprained ankle, and some aches and pains in other areas, but relatively unharmed. Many of our friends and neighbors came to check on him at home as word spread about the accident. It was a scenario that was inches away from being much, much worse. God is always in control, even on a crazy, dangerous road like "the blacktop." 

We can't thank everyone enough for the prayers and support while the work continues here! 

New faces peeking in from the front steps of our current home.