Reflections from the PAP airport.
First, cause it’s on my mind right now. I hate airport prices. I just bought a Sprite, and since they don’t have prices posted here, just handed them 100HTG (US$2.50), figuring to be around 30-50HTG (street price is normally 25HTG). Instead, they give me back 10HTG($.25), making the Sprite 90HTG ($2.25). I don’t like it. First, they don’t post prices. 2nd, they rip you off.
Now to real reflections.
Another 2 months in. Good work accomplished, but not a whole lot that I was trying to do with F1 Engineering. Not that that is a problem.
Most of this trip was spent working with my new friends from the Hands and Feet Project.
Drex and Jo Stuart, who have been working in Haiti for over 30 years, were great to work with. They are now partially retired and had only come back to get the new orphange in Grand Goave up and running. I learned a lot from them about Haiti, about building practices, and about whatever random story Drex decided to tell. I pick on him for his story telling, but I appreciate it.
Andrew, Angie, and Faith Sutton. They are the new missionaries to run the Grand Goave orphanage. Faith is 5 months old, I think. Her name is a direct testimony to the step they are taking moving to Haiti, when many back home will call them crazy for bringing such a small child to such a difficult environment. They are in over their head, and will have their difficulties in figuring out how to run an orphanage that already has 31 kids, but they are willing to accept that. They will have their struggles, and they will also have plenty of successes. They have stepped out to follow God’s path for them, and He will accompany them all along the way. They are good friends, and I look forward to seeing God use them to raise up these 31 orphans as godly young men and women.
Zac Marcengill. A young man from Nashville who came down to Haiti as a Hands and Feet intern, not really knowing what he was getting into. His role has shifted constantly over the month and a half that he has been here, but he has rolled with it, and been instrumental in the construction of this new facility. He is now extending his stay to see the job completed to the point of moving the kids into the facility. Beyond that, he is ready to follow God’s lead, though he’s not sure where that is. Pray for him as he seeks to discern where to go next.
Overall, I developed great relationships and have worked very hard to get this facility ready for the kids to move in, in addition to being the maintenance man at the guest house for Mission of Hope. It was a great time of learning and helping Hands and Feet.
Their facility is getting close to moving in the Suttons and the kids. For those that have been to Grand Goave, the 31 kids I am referring to are actually the kids that live at Mission of Hope school right now. They have been cared for under a partnership between MOHI and HAF to this point, with the understanding that HAF will build a permanent home for them and take over care, and that is finally coming to pass.
From a more individual aspect, these are some of the biggest thoughts for F1 Engineering moving forward:
The idea of an electrical class is great and is gaining support. I have a “waiting list” of sorts, specifically for a basic electrical class (more basic than I have planned), and maybe other classes.
Two of my students are guys that I got to work with alot more while I was in Grand Goave:
Judelyn and Junior. My newest apprentices both work under Delvar, a haitian electrician in Grand Goave. However, their work ethic and desire to learn far surpass Delvar’s. Hopefully he will learn from them as well. All three will come to my class in July. Judelyn is also looking forward to more opportunities already. He asked me when I will have a clinic on plumbing as well. I don’t feel that I have enough experience to do that yet, but time will tell.
I’ve also been working hard to rehab the batteries in Grand Goave, hoping to get some capacity out of them after they were improperly cared for in a highly destructive manner. It was done with the best intentions, but some haitians dumped all the water out of the batteries in an effort to revitalize them. This is effect will kill the capacity of lead acid batteries in most cases. Hopefully they will be functional again now.
Good contacts have also been made in other areas of Haiti, including Delmas 75, where I now have friends with 3 Seams, the Apparent Project, and an AIDS orphanage that will be run by a couple from Montreal.
Andre, from Quebec, had me install an inverter and batteries for him while I was in Delmas, and I hope to return to help him more in the future as well.
God has also taught me some continuing lessons while I am here.
One is that He will take care of the details. I lost several nights of sleep worrying that I would not be able to get my truck out of customs. It’s not out yet, but God is providing and has opened some other doors to provision as well.
He is also breaking my heart that I don’t know how to respond to people begging yet. I do not want to continue a beggar’s mentality, or get things running like a welfare system. However, I am looking at the issue more and more and thinking about what to do about it.
I cannot explain fully that I am trying to help more by not giving, instead I just come off as an unkind American.
So the question arises, is it better to deny aid to those begging to teach the lesson, possibly at the sake of reputation as a missionary, OR to give generously to those who ask, letting God handle being the provider and being the one who takes care of touching the hearts of the people?
I don’t know. And that breaks my heart that I do not know how to respond like Christ.
The future of F1 Engineering:
This will live on in other parts of this website, hopefully to be updated more often than it current is.
F1 Engineering has the following plans, going from definitive to vague concepts.
=Furlough (June 20th-July ?)
– I will be home for several weeks, including the week of Creation Music Festival. This is a time I want to share what God is doing with as many people as possible, so any speaking engagements would be appreciated.
– The end of this furlough will be determined by God’s provision for me to return to Haiti, and finding the balance of time needed for ministry stateside before returning to the pressing needs in Haiti.
=Technical School (First Class: Mid July 2011)
– It is becoming obvious that there is an element of education that must be present in Haiti for employment to improve and for quality to improve in all areas of infrastructure. To this end, F1 will be starting “intensive” technical schools.
– These schools will be a week long, with small class sizes.
– Long term goals will include certification of trainees after class and apprenticeship work. Then F1 will issue them business cards and offer free inspections for any work that is completed by these technicians. The goal is to help them gain more employment and to assure better infrastructure in the future.
-Madame Bonite (High Priority in July)
– Short term goals: Installation of Additional Solar Panels donated for her facility.
– Long Term needs: She is now building an orphanage, and will need help along the way. Additionally, her guest house is not yet finished, so that needs work as well.
-AIDS orphanage in Delmas (High Priority in July)
– Short Term: Finish Inverter installation with a welded battery rack, and more permanent placement of all components.
– Long Term: Stay in Contact and help however possible. This will be a difficult ministry. I love their hearts here and want to help them.
-Hands and Feet Project – Grand Goave (Medium Priority in July)
– Short Term: I will return to assist the Sutton’s in finishing up the infrastructure as needed.
– Long Term: Since they have no grid power, I would like to see a solar installation on this property when possible.
-Mission of Hope International and Be Like Brit – Grand Goave (Priority TBA by construction schedules)
– Short Term: Assist in installation of electrical systems in their new facilities.
– Long Term: Train qualified maintenance personel.
-Missions International of America – Les Cayes (High Priority in July)
– Short Term: Troubleshoot system. This will require significant testing.
– Fix BUV (Broken Frame Weld)
– Long Term: Expand facilities to include factory areas on their schedule.
-Church in Carrefoure – (Dates set in October with Scott Thomas of Johnstown)
– Short Term: Show up with tools to assist in a short term building project.
– Long Term: Unknown
So that’s what I know right now.
I’m thinking that a fall trip to Madame Bonite’s may be in order. I know many of you are interested in coming to Haiti, and that could be a good opportunity, but let me get some more details first. I need to get an idea of her building budget, and how we can work with local labor and bosses. It is a difficult balance to work together with these crews at times.
Anyhow, that is my current state of affairs I think.