About a month ago, we were happy to host the Silverton team. Only about half of the team was actually from Oregon, though, and the rest were from Indiana and Ohio.
This team got the opportunity to head off the mainland to an island for the weekend. We had about a six-hour drive to Pestel (where we took the Bluffton team), on the north coast of southern Haiti, and then an hour boat ride across the bay to a village on Grande Cayemite, where we roofed a school and built 10 school desks.
The team learned a lot about flexibility during the week. There were many opportunities to go with the flow and take life as it comes. To begin with, after a day+ of traveling and short night for the team, we left at 6am on Saturday morning, with the intention of getting out to the island early enough to get a bit of work done Saturday afternoon. Turns out, we spent three hours in Pestel waiting for our boat to show up. Then, instead of the boat that Scott requested, a smaller one showed up, and we really wondered whether we were going to fit everything in. We filled the boat with tools and luggage and water jugs and more and then topped it off with 29 people (the 24 of our team, plus the five transporting us). As Scott commented, it’s a good thing we serve a big God.
Since the village is on an island, the people don’t see a lot of white people, and they (especially the kids) took full advantage of their time with us. They crowded around as much and as often as they could.
See a crowd? There’s probably a white person in the middle somewhere.
The Haitians also love to gather around as we work to either watch or help. The men had many, many little hands eager to help pound nails on the trusses.
In this particular area of the island, the ground was very, very rocky. There were no flat places anywhere near the church on which to build, so we built everything inside the church (trusses and school desks) and creatively balanced our desks wherever we could to paint them.
The team continued their exercise in flexibility when they spent a day working on trusses at Bergeaud (near Les Cayes) and the truss design for that church had to be revised on the spot. And finally, with one delay after another, some of the Silverton crew spent almost 72 hours just trying to get home again!
We’re always thankful, though, for a safe week full of God’s blessings!