"Thar's gold in them thar hills!"
We were in Chiraque today, helping paint the school that was leveled by Hurricane Matthew. We have a great and loyal Haitian ground crew. . .but the two trucks were being tested, each ferrying 10-11 persons each. .and some freight as well. Today was nothing compared to Monday’s return trip, when we conduct a mobile medical/dental clinic. We transport folding tables, chairs, meds, Haitian nurses, our ground crew, us. . .plus food and water for all. . .up a rutted, rocky, steep dirt “road” that is beyond anything I remember at any GM test track! School painting went pretty well. . .we had a spot of showers and it honestly felt great against the everpresent heat and humidity. We had the village cooks prepare a meal for our crew and the village, to celebrate the renbuilding of the original school building. Rice and beans, chicken legs, pop. . .a true feast in their eyes. Any Pastor Felix prepared a table for the seven of us, this after we had woofed down some bagged tuna and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! Our ground crew were sporting torch red T-shirts that we brought with clasped hands on the front and “TEAM” on the back. When we get to Monday and Wednesday mobile medical clinics with 300+ people, we’ll more easily find our crew to assist with this or that. They seem to appreciate the feeling of belonging that the shirt suggests, if not being associated with the work they do in partnership with the BFUMC team It is early days in our week but the we are receiving requests for help of one sort or another. This happens every year and we honor many of them, almost always as personal assistance from one team member or another. . .as the spirit moves. It’s hard not to contrast our situations versus any Haitian team member and feel moved to consider positively, especially as they work alongside us for a week and we get current as to their hopes. . .and if they’ve been able to move ahead with the small bits of assistance they previously received. But our team does spend most of its time thinking long term. . .and, relative to Chiraque, a kind of hoped-for miracle (mentioned in last night’s blog) kind of materialized today. Well diggers from Ohio, who work in the Jeremie area, visited Chiraque this afternoon and confirmed they can and WILL do a well for the village! It was so easy, as if it was meant to be. We think it was, as water really represents the end game for a self-sustaining village. But it wouldn’t matter if the table hadn’t been prepared to receive this gift. . .and the table couldn’t have been prepared without you. We may be here, but you are here, too. With your help, Chiraque has a church, two school buildings, solar power and. . .in 3 months or so. . .a source of clean water 2 minutes from the church (not the nearest stream 30 minutes away). We will make a special appeal to all of you to make this happen. So many good things lie on the other side of this. . .the well folks say they observe a 10+ pound weight gain after a village has a well nearby. This results from NOT having to walk long distances each day, and cooking with a source of water that is clean and free of disabling microbes. This is a big deal, and will not only improve health but create new agriculture opportunities. We hope you think so too, and be moved to make a donation. . .of any amount. . .to make this happen. Best to all, John and Nancy Smith