Like Kate was saying a couple weeks back, we have been hitting the ground running since returning home last month. These past few weeks specifically have been some of the most busy we've had in a while!
Three weeks ago we hosted a team from Ephrata, PA, who came down to build a home for two families in the 5th Section of St. Marc. One of the things that made this team special was that the leaders of the team, John and Danya, are a married couple out of YWAM Jamaica. We had met them once before during the Caribbean Staff conference in the Dominican Republic two years ago!
All of these guys brought with them experience in construction and a real eye for the details. The gentleman in the middle of the picture was actually a mason so when the Haitian masons heard he was there they convinced him to join their crew and start building a wall or two. (A Homes of Hope first to my knowledge!)
This group worked so hard all week. Home building all day long, a pastor's seminar for one of them in the afternoons, and a crusade (Kind of an evangelistic gathering) after dinner until bed time. At the end of the week they were still running strong and each of them preached a message at the crusade for their final night. The two younger guys were only 19 years old and they also took their turn preaching in front of a couple thousand people! It was truly inspiring to see them step up even with no formal theological education! (Didn't stop the Apostles either!)
The second group arrived just 5 days after that first group had left. It didn't give us much time to prepare but we were able to get everything all ready for another home! I have to admit that the teams were very different in their strengths. Where the first team brought young craftsman, the second team brought some very experienced, older people.
This second team was from San Antonio, TX and boy did they work FAST! Three days into the week they were already looking at finishing the house and helping the family move in. (You can watch the dedication video below.) That got some of them thinking...
Why not build a second?
And so in 6 days, this team of 12 people from Texas built 2 homes! (Another Homes of Hope first! We've had another team build 3 homes in a week before, but that team was 50 strong! Enough for a dedicated team on each house.)
One of the team members, Dave, worked so fast and hard that he had to eat 5 sandwiches everyday for lunch just to keep from being hungry! And yes, he's the muscular man standing in the back row under the window.
Another team member was a rancher from outside San Antonio who helped Terry figure out the operation of a large water pump and tractor to help flood the fields surrounding the village so that the village can grow rice! You can check out the full project details on the YWAM Haiti webpage.
And so grand total was 3 duplexes in that many weeks! Homes for 6 families, who now don't have to worry about the rain literally washing away the walls of their mud huts. The spare time that the women have now that they don't have to clean a mud hut (Really I don't know how they do that exactly) has been spent spreading the word among the neighboring villages about what God has done for them!
The village of Balalay recognizes that they aren't just blessed for blessing sake, but that they can be blessed to be a blessing in the least areas of Haiti! Woohoo!
Okie dokie, I won't hold you up for much longer. Be on the look out for some exciting news about a construction school for local youth in the near future! And as promised the video of the second team dedicating the first house: