The truck has been delivered to the docks in Miami. Now, we wait, probably about a month, to receive it in Haiti.
So, it’s been a crazy, and amazing, couple of weeks home in the U.S.
Jamie and I had a rather full schedule, including many chances to share what God has been doing at churches, a rotary club, and personally with a few families who welcomed us in for meals. 🙂
In the end, I think I started sounding like a broken record, repeating the same stories at times, but I cannot help but share what God has done, even if I could still use some work on how to tell it better 😉
Anyhow, I realized that I never really gave a full update on here, or at least it has been long enough that I should do so again.
First off, just to recap, as we were leaving Haiti, we were pressing hard, hoping to get a shipping container set on the land which we will use for the community workshop. Unfortunately, “Haiti Time” took precedent and we were unable to get that done. It was also a hard time as we found out that not only were there a bunch of delays in moving a container, but that we only have one instead of the two I was planning on.However, we are confident that IF we need a second container, God will provide it in his timing, or show us another way forward. Meanwhile, we “make haste slowly”.
Here is a picture of the land, with the 3 foundations laid for the containers to go on. We will put in the fourth foundation after the container is in place so it doesn’t block the truck from pulling in to deliver them. (Click on it to see it bigger)
Also, as a reminder, here is the concept of what we will put on the land:
When we got home to the U.S., I had many chances to speak at churches about what God is up to. This was unusual for me, as I have been choosing to stay quiet lately and focus on family while we were home. However, God had prompted me to speak up this time.
As we went to these churches, I was once again careful to promote what God has been up to, how He has been working in our lives and what He had been laying on my heart.
I intentionally try to avoid asking for things. It has always been my conviction that God will provide what is needed for His work, and if I am to represent Him well, I should not be seen as a beggar. So, I shared our testimony of what God is doing.
Specifically, the focus was on answered prayers and how God has provided the land for the workshop, our house, my wife, and most recently this truck, and how God has been reminding me over and over again to take my requests before Him and seek Him first. It was great to be able to share this testimony, though I also had to admit the fears that come with it.
God provides for His people to do HIS work. And He is providing MORE than we need for the current work, so there must be more work that he wants us to do.
Speaking of how God provides, I have to boast on Him again now with some pictures to document the progress over the last month.
First, we got the truck, as I’ve shown before:
Then, I was going to enclose the back of it. I always had a vague picture in my mind, but no specifics on how exactly I would accomplish this. Once I was back in PA, I called up Dave Spear, a good friend who works at J&J Trucks in Somerset, and asked him where I could find steel to use, as the original plan was to try and find a garage and attempt to do the work myself. Thankfully, God had better plans. Instead of just pointing me to where I could find materials, Dave told me to bring the truck out and they would take a look at it. A week later, they had enclosed it, and put doors on the end. So, here it is after we got it back and hurried to paint it while the weather was still nice.
Throughout our time in PA, we were receiving donations for the workshop, and for our ministry in general. We were thoroughly overwhelmed. My parents house and garage were overrun with donations, and when we finished packing the truck, I don’t think we could have put anything else into it. We ended up getting everything I had put on a list, and much more. Here are just a few examples:
I received a phone call about a possible tool donation. The caller mentioned that he had some tools that he noticed weren’t on our list, but that he thought we might want to take a look at. And so we went to their house for a visit and to see what might be useful. He ended up donating shop-grade carpentry tools, including a full size drill press, band saw, planer, jointer, and other tools. This made me realize how this workshop can be used even in ways that I am not fully qualified!
I’ve wanted this shop to be a place to teach high quality trade skills, in electrical work, welding, carpentry, and possibly auto mechanics. I list them in that order, because that is the order of my proficiency. I can teach the first, am passable at welding and carpentry, but will need a better instructor, and will be a student myself at auto mechanics. Thankfully, I have some friends in Jacmel and the U.S who can teach me and teach with me on using this stuff, so I look forward to watching how these donations shape the skills of the locals that come to work
in the shop.
Additionally, God prompted another friend to choose to support a different part of our life in Haiti. I had put a keyboard on our wish list, without Jamie’s knowledge, because I know she enjoys playing piano, and I know how much I enjoy hearing her worship God through music and I am sure He gets even more enjoyment out of it. In the end, this friend responded by not just getting the keyboard, but choosing to get a better one at the recommendation of his mom, who he deferred to as his piano expert. 🙂
To top it all off, and in a show of how God can go above and beyond what we can ask or imagine, God also offered us an SUV. We were blown away by the fact that we actually had to turn down such a generous offer, as we currently could not ship it, and have no place to put it in Haiti until after the workshop is built, but at the same time remain encouraged (and reminded) that God’s got this. And us, in His hands.
In the end we had the truck completely filled with tools, and probably loaded as heavy as the truck could handle.
It was a hard days work, and I know I couldn’t have done it alone.
For our final act in Johnstown, we joined the 633 prayer meeting at Emmanuel Baptist and they prayed over us and the truck. It was a great way to start this new journey of our ministry exactly how each step must be undertaken, with much prayer.
The whole group was impressed by how full the bed was:
Then they prayed us off, and wrote their prayers and greetings on the side to take with us to Haiti.
Finally, to close with one more story, while I was in the U.S., I met with the owner of a local welding company who wants to help put up trusses for the roof over the workshop, and to do so in such a way that we could put chain hoists off the trusses to aid us in heavy work. That would be a huge blessing, although once again I must admit that God would seem to have grander plans for this workshop than I had myself 🙂
After sharing all of this, I also want to say, PLEASE continue to keep us in your prayers. God is faithfully providing, now pray that we would continue to seek His wisdom, and be filled with his courage to use all of this as He would have us to use it.
We are humbled and blessed to realize how many of you are praying for us, and to have met some of the prayer groups that have been praying for us even before we knew who they were. Do not forget us.
Pray that God would continue to stand His angelic guard around the truck as it takes about a month to make it to Haiti.
Pray that God would provide exactly what we need for building this workshop.
Pray that God would provide materials for the solar and electrical work as He sees fit to continue it.
Pray that we would not forget. God has been pouring out His blessing on us lately, but pray that we would remember His faithfulness, even when we enter into seasons that aren’t as obvious and abundant as this one.
Pray that we woud not lose focus. That we wouldn’t let our eyes get too fixed on the projects, tools or even the mission that God has given us, that we would lose sight of Him.
and pray that we would continue to seek Him daily.
Travis and Jamie