Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It has been a very busy month

Thursday Feb. 6th

It’s hard to describe what has happened at the Empower Global construction project over the past week and one half. The sight has been completely transformed.

Last Tuesday when Jason the project manager was assigning the different crews to their projects, he told me what his objectives were. I responded that conditions are very hot here and things don’t always go as planned. I would be happy with half of his huge to-do list. He warned me to keep that to myself and watch. My assignment was to layout and fabricate eleven trusses 9’ high by 50’ long and to meet the schedule once that we built our template that we would have to complete two trusses each day to be ready for a Saturday start of erection. Meanwhile two Ironworkers from Hamilton Ont. started erecting trusses fabricated last spring on a smaller training center directly above us. Meanwhile some Carpenters were setting wood trusses on the top of a 35’ high watchtower and started the metal roofing. The Plumbers were running underground water lines; The Electricians were forming and burying underground conduits. A crew started transforming two shipping containers into finished office spaces complete with windows, doors, electrical and air conditioning. One Ironworker started building the rebar mat for a huge concrete slab while two Cement Finishers were installing new parts on the borrowed power trowel and readying it for three days of hand mixing and pouring cement during 14hr. days.

On Wed. my group fabricated three trusses and on Thursday four! The site was a constant buzz with three welding machines running, a cement mixer, power trowel, and many cordless tools.

Right on schedule the slab was done and cured enough that we could start erecting trusses across four shipping containers on Saturday morning. We could have erected all of the trusses but at the half way point we dropped back to completely weld all of the bracing and get the roof ready for the Carpenters to start the metal roofing on Monday to keep them going while we would finish the erection ahead of them. I ended up operating OMS’ tractor lifting the trusses, but each time that we got enough up for another perlin I would go “in the air, “climbing  about and helping weld bracing and perlins as I had done for so many years at the trade. We were able to finish all of the many projects by the time that the team headed back home on Friday morning Feb. 8th

         Let There Be Light, enjoying the warehouse Feb.5 with the training center in the background
Tuesday evening Feb 18th
The Grace team from our home church in Erie Pa. just flew out yesterday. Grace arrived on Feb.8th at 8:10am with 18 people. The objectives were to install a power system in our sister church here, host a parenting conference and Valentines banquet for the parents of the Cowman Int. School students, assist the teachers at Cowman and also help with classes at Grace Zion school at our sister church along with some working in the medical clinic. Everyone hit the ground running. Monday the group that I was with worked at installing electrical conduit while others helped Jane with Art & English classes. We found that most of our electrical materials were still in a shipping contained either on a ship or tied up in customs and should hopefully be released sometime during the week. Tuesday morning some went to help with school and some went with Jane to pack up the Empower guest house while others scrubbed and prime painted the exterior of our depot. Allen and I were down at the Port meeting with the Customs official to track down our shipment/container. (It turns out that the agent is in Kate’s ESL class and is former ESL student of Jane’s. She promised to help in any way that she could to expedite our materials, Isn’t God so good!!) In the afternoon they spent time touring the many OMS ministries.  Wed. morning many helped paint our depot and complete house. During lunch I received a phone call from the Customs Agent saying that our materials had been released and that we were to go directly to our shipping agent for pickup. After a few misunderstandings as to where the materials were to be picked-up and playing cat & mouse with our truck and the truck bringing the materials from the container to the shippers local agent we finally got all of the items, a quick trip back to the church to unload and get things ready to install on Thursday & Friday. Everything went well for Sunday morning service, now with some reliable power for the church and school to brighten their dark first floor school classrooms. Most all of the power in Haiti is only on for maybe ¼ of the day depending on where you are. The amount and times vary from day to day. This new power system stores incoming electricity from the utility into massive batteries and then when the power stops the system inverts the stored battery power back into household current keeping the church & school powered continually if we get enough utility to meet the demand. The team worked for many months calculating the system requirements. It was difficult to say goodbye yesterday as we had a great group and had a lot of fun together.
                                                 Grace-Zion's new Inverter power system

Jane says that we have worked with 69 visitors since Jan. 15. It was a great time but now for a little rest. This morning now that things have slowed down we finally unboxed Sammy’s new potty chair and are going to give it our best to get him potty trained.

Sammy’s adoption is moving forward but slowly. Only God knows!

Thanks for all of your prayers


Sunday, February 02, 2014


Today we are taking the team for a much need rest for all of us at the beach.  Then hopefully watch the super bowl.

How long have we been back?

It seems like we have been here for month but we arrived here on January 14. On the 15th two dear friends arrived to stay with us and help us with work we are doing.  They are part of a group I lovingly call the Minnesota well drillers.  Irene and Paul were such a blessing. Irene helped me set up a Guest House for Empower Global. It is quite a task to take an empty kitchen and turn it into a working kitchen.  Lot of shopping was done in the states and here to get all of the supplies. But on January 27 the team arrived.  Now it is a busy time of caring for and feeding 24 at each meal.  I have a wonderful Haitian staff who are amazing cooks.  For those of you who know Josianne and Rose they are heading up the kitchen team and Lunia is in charge of cleaning and laundry.  The men are raving about the food.  These men as Bud mentioned are here to build an education center.  It is fun to see Bud enjoying the trades again that he worked with so many years.  This past week Joy and Hope of Haiti came in and they are another organization I work with.  We are busy visiting all the sites that we distribute soup to.  This soup is put together by Gleaners of Canada. It is a dehydrated soup that has so much nutrition. So far over 10,000 children and adults has been served this soup.  One place is in the house of a young man who feed severely malnutrition children who live along the river.  I along with Pastor Noe are responsible to deliver this food each month.  Our orphanage is one of the benefiters of this soup. 

Monday a crusie ship is coming in and I will be going to pick them up and take them around to many different areas of ministry.  Another team is coming in for a people’s race here and I will be helping these people who are interested in missions to have a good experience.

Tuesday February 4 we will be moving the kids (orphanage) to their new home.  Everything is set to go but the present landlord has decided that he wants us to pay $600 to have the present house repainted so he can move into the house or he will not release the children’s things and what furniture we have.  Praise the Lord, He has provided this money and we can move.  For months the children have shared beds.  Some children raised enough money to have 8 sets of bunk beds built and someone else says they will help with more mattresses. This is amazing.

February 8 our home church arrives and we will be doing different projects at the school I teach at. Yes among all of this I am still teaching three days a week.

Our car is having problems.  Bud had to put a new water pump in It and it continues to overheat.  Not a good time to be without a car but we are blessed to have a friend taxi driver who is helping.

Life is good but hectic but fulfilling.  Many of these visitors we have had do not know the Lord and we are seeing firsthand how God can change hearts.  We are not just here for the Haitians.  We are here for all those God puts in our lives.

Sammy adoption is still being worked on and we have not heard how it is going.  Sunday we spoke in a
Church and one of the directors of the IBES was there and told us he will help as well.  God has put people in place and now we are waiting for it all to come about. Sammy is going through the terrible 2 and he is a very determined child who is also very intelligent.  This week some of the French speaking visitors had him naming all his body parts in French.  He is now speaking French, English and Creole. It is fun to watch him grow up.