First off, I want to say a big THANK YOU!!!! to everyone who helped support our inverter project over the past few months. I am happy to say that the inverter and batteries have all been installed and we now have electricity even when the city power or campus generator are off. (Providing the batteries have been charged long enough, but that will be fixed when the solar panels are installed.)
The funds for the solar panels have also cleared and so I should be able to pick them up within the next week and get up on the roof to install them this next weekend! This whole process has been both challenging and awesome. We had no idea where all the funds would come from, but in the end over $400 extra came in over the $5,000 goal! (If you are reading this on the website, then you can see the YouCaring box to the right!)
We will use part of this extra money to purchase a control panel for our system. The control panel adds some features to the system that help us make the system more efficient & reliable and makes it so that we can actually see what's wrong when an error comes up. (I wish I had it when I was trying to set the inverter and batteries up for the error reason alone!) It's not something that's needed to start the system, but it helps maintain our system and make it more efficient.
Apart from the inverter system, the focus of my work for the past month has been on the DTS that is currently coming into it's fifth week. As the title suggests, the focus of this past week has been laying down our rights in a mountain village called Fond Baptiste. Part practical skills missionary training and part "this brings new meaning to having to physically be dependent on God for strength." The students did great and walked away more unified and with some stories to share.
One of those stories I want to share with you came about from my group of students. (Each of the DTS staff had a group of students that they worked with throughout the week. Sometimes to push harder and challenge behaviors and sometimes to encourage when they are using the last ounce of their strength.) I headed up group C (a mixed group with 2 Haitian and 2 American students) or group "Cool" as we liked to refer to ourselves. It's nice because "Cool" has the same meaning in both english and in creole even if they are spelled a little different (Cool and Kool).
Anyway, Wednesday afternoon found us cleaning up the church property that we were staying at and then out of the blue, I felt that God was asking us to march down to the bottom of the hill from the church and find a gentleman there to pray for. So I announced to the group to stop what they were doing and to follow me. It's maybe 1000ft to the bottom of the hill and it's also fairly steep.
When we arrived at the bottom I asked the man there if we could pray for him. He said yes and then I asked two of the students to pray for him. As soon as they were done we marched all the way back up the hill, but the lesson wasn't done. So as soon as we got to the top I announced that I had forgotten something, so we marched all the way back down.
When we found the man again, I asked him if he knew Jesus and if he knew that Jesus loved him. The man said yes. There was also another lady there that asked for prayer so we prayed for her too. Then we marched all the way back to the top again and resumed cleaning. The students were a little confused, but they were used to that during the week.
Not so bad you say?
The next day we did the same thing, except the students forgot to ask if Jesus loved this other guy we prayed for so we marched down again to ask him.
So that's a total of 4 trips down and 4 trips up, some 8000ft of hiking to pray for 3 people total. If God had left it at that, then that is all it would have been: 8000ft of hiking to pray for 3 people who said they knew Jesus.
God does things for a reason though.
The next time we passed through the area (So the 9th time making that 1000ft hike) a man stopped us to ask for prayer. Two of the students went to the man and began praying. After their prayer the man told them that he wanted to know who Jesus was. The students had a chance to share and pray with him again. Heaven is rejoicing and so are the students, even if their sore feet are telling them not to.
This man would never have known to ask though if those 4 students hadn't laid down their rights to comfort and made that hike so many times. He knew they were interested in praying for people and so he stopped them for prayer. As we reminded the students of during this past week:
When you lay down your rights to what you want, God does amazing things.