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