Roanoke Construction Workteam Trip
This trip was a blessing for our whole team of ten, with four of us being first-timers. This was especially true because we were able to experience first-hand the life and world of a family from Roanoke who are currently serving in Les Cayes: Scott, Mandy, Bri, Chloe and Gab Yordy. We have prayed for them since the beginning of their journey as a family to Haiti, so it was very touching to see where they serve and to see the Lord using their gifts and talents mightily in His work.
When we arrived in Haiti, it didn’t take long to be overwhelmed by the poverty. At the same time, it was touching to get glimpses from the bus windows into the people’s daily lives. These were the places they go home to each night, down the tiny, narrow alleys. It was surprising how well-dressed many of the people are, as opposed to impoverished, dejected homeless people that one sees in America’s cities. Most of the Haitians hold themselves erectly, with looks of purpose on their faces. One had to wonder, though, how many know Jesus.
Our construction project was to put a roof on the school/church/community center at the LSM Cancer Redemption Project. This was a huge, high building, so it took a lot of workers. In addition to our team and the local staff, it was a joy to work alongside Haitian workers. We also built and varnished twenty church benches and twenty school desks. Sometimes the children living at the group homes there came out to say hello, which brightened our days. It was touching and inspiring to hear the children sing when we worshipped together there on Sunday.
Because the site was close to the guesthouse, we stayed there the entire week. Some of our team who had been on previous work trips missed staying out at a remote location, but staying at the guesthouse made it possible to spend evenings with Yordys and to have more time with their family. The fellowship and relationships built with all of the staff and families were a blessing. When we weren’t working, some of us had time for extra sights like the local village and clinic, the market in town, the Domestic Center, the LSM ranch, Bonn Finn Hospital, and the last afternoon, a trip to the beach for all. We know that it was a lot of work for all of the staff before we arrived, while we were there, and probably also after we left, and we appreciate the many ways that they graciously showed us the love of Jesus.
Kathy and Rachel Sauder
With this being our first mission trip to Haiti, we were a little apprehensive at first. The sights that we saw on our way from Port-au-Prince to Les Cayes were a little overwhelming, to see so many people with such great need for life’s necessities that we sometimes take for granted. This gave us a new perspective that the lives lived by a large percentage of the people on our planet are very different than our own. But even though the people of Haiti are surrounded by poverty, we learned that finding joy does not need to be determined by our circumstances. We witnessed the smiling faces of the children at the group homes and the heartfelt singing of the residents at the nursing home as evidence of their joy. Several people at the nursing home sang for us individually, knowing the hymns by heart. Our work activities of assembling and finishing church benches and helping to build the roof were often hot and dusty, but we found joy in serving others so that the Gospel could be spread. We were blessed to be part of the team and appreciated the encouragement we received from the construction managers that each task was making a difference on the project. Getting an opportunity to establish friendships among the various missionaries was great, and it was especially rewarding to see how God is using the Yordy family, who were previously our neighbors back in Illinois. We left the week blessed with a rich experience – – and if even only one soul is saved by hearing the Truth at this school and church, it was all worth it.
Brad Sauder and daughter Elly