Saturday, September 16, 2017

Water in the rock!

The time finally came for the team from home to arrive who would set out to drill a well here at the mission house.  They made it to the mission on Monday afternoon, and after a supper of rice and beans, went right out to the drilling rig to get to work making things run properly.   Working with the equipment on hand was not going to be an easy task, but was one they were all mostly prepared for.  All through Monday evening, the team changed oil filters, cleaned parts, tore apart, re-assembled, and were able to get things going well-enough to be ready for the next day.

Tuesday morning, the men gathered outside to have a final prayer meeting asking for wisdom in knowing exactly where to start drilling. There was no expensive testing done, no water witching, just fervent prayer. The drilling rig and the water truck were parked along the west wall of the mission, and the process began.  It began as a not-so-dirty job, but by day three, the mud that was created from the mix of water and bentonite clay covered everyone that stepped near the job.  The large rocks and different soil made it a different experience for Eric Kell, a well-driller from Indiana who volunteered his time to come help. His guidance, along with a brother from Blue Ridge Mission who has a great deal of experience drilling wells here in Haiti, kept the project running as smoothly as possible. 

It is difficult for me to explain all the details that went into this process, seeing as I don't entirely understand it all myself, but I do know that it wasn't an easy task for all those involved. Threats of hurricane Irma loomed over us through the week, but it remained north of us while only dumping some rain and offering a bit of relief from the sun. It did, however, affect the itinerary for half of the people who were down here working. They had planned to leave Sunday morning, but their flights were canceled. If they wanted to leave any sooner than the following Thursday, they now had to leave Saturday.  While this was good news in getting them home to their families, it left one less day to finish the job.

By Friday it was looking as though they would be able to reach water. At 307 feet into the earth, they hit a waterway that seemed to be sufficient. Sixteen pipes, each at 20 feet long, were stacked one over the other into the whole that reached the water. Next, they all had to be taken back out.  One at a time, the old, sturdy truck lifted them out, and they were guided back down to lie on the truck where they were first taken from.  When this part was done, the well pump was lowered into the hole, only to realize that the pump we had was too small for the size of well. It was a little bit disappointing at the time that the job couldn't be finished before most of the group went back home, but things came  through in the end.

This week, we were able to get Blue Ridge to come out and bring a big enough pump, and clean out the hole. Wednesday evening we learned that we had water flowing at 40 gallons/minute! We are so glad to now see water flowing from the ground! Barry is working today to get the pipes hooked up to the water tank on the house, and get the wires that power the pump buried in the ground. 

Words can't express how thankful we are that God answered prayers and provided water for the mission!  After being so tight with water for nearly two years, the children couldn't help but run and play in the fountaint it came gushing from the pipe. We are thankful, also, for all who volunteered their time to come help with the process and "play in the mud."   In the rough, mountainous, island nation of Haiti, the Lord has provided "water in the rock!"

Making Repairs and Getting things Running.

Mike, from Blue Ridge, sat on a piece of cardboard when the fire ants were unbearable.

Mervin providing his mechanical expertise

Our old neighbors from Barbancourt, always thankful for work, hand dug the trench to run the water line.

Just beginning to drill.

Taking a break and juggling some breadfruits :)

Getting a little bit messy

A panoramic view of the whole operation

Sunday, September 3, 2017

A New Meeting Place

One thing that's been lacking is a place to send people who are seeking a place to go and hear the Word of God regularly, and surround themselves with sound doctrine, and sound believers.  For quite some time there has been a vision for such a church.

We are one step closer to that vision with the recent completing of a very simple, breezy meeting house. In the immediate moments following the completion, while the men who built the church were still there, and many neighbors had gathered around, the first impromptu message was preached. Barry stood in the midst of the group and shared without a translator, filling in the gaps with hand motions when the right words  were lacking.


The following weekend, and official meeting time was announced and an evening service was held. Pastor Bazalet officiated while he and Pastor Willy, a pastor who has become a friend over the past year, led the singing. This time with Franz's help, Barry preached the first "official" sermon, clearly establishing the vision for this new church.  When the service began, only a handful of people were present, but by the time the message began, every spot on the newly constructed benches were filled.

We are more then excited to see how the Lord can use this new meeting place to further His Kingdom! 

He Blinded Their Eyes

In another noteworthy event, Barry and his team had traveled via motorcycles to a mountain church for an evening meeting. Pastor Bazalet and Franz rode on one bike, while Barry drove the other with Dennis, who was still here visiting at the time, riding on the back. On the trip back down, Barry and Dennis were some distance ahead of Franz and Pastor Bazalet. They didn't see many people, but they did pass a group of men standing along the roadside.  People are typically friendly on these isolated mountain roads,, but these men didn't seem to notice that Barry and Dennis were even there. When they reached the bottom, Barry and Dennis realized that their Haitian teammates were delayed in coming. As it turned out, the group of men they had passed had stopped Franz and Pastor Bazalet.  It was learned that they had seen the group going up the mountain and had set out to rob the Americans on their descent, hoping to score a large sum of cash. However, it was as if they were completely blinded to even passing Barry and Dennis and stopped  the Haitians instead!  When they realized they had the wrong guys, no harm was done and the attempted robbery failed. .  Another marvel in the way God watches over the missionary!