Much has happened within the last month to give God thanks for – the safe arrival of a container with solar and medical supplies, orthopedic surgeries by a medical team, and installation of the solar system.
On February 8 we shipped a container that contained the last of the solar equipment needed to finish installation, along with many building and medical supplies. It was troubling to hear that another ministry’s container had recently been hijacked and everything in it stolen. The cost of our container’s contents concerned us. How could we ensure its safe delivery from Port Au Prince to the hospital? We decided to send our container and truck on a barge, avoiding gang areas by moving it along the coast and then driving the rest of the way. Other organizations have been doing the same. With much prayer, we left it in Gods’ hands. The container left Port Au Prince on a Friday and we expected it late that same day, but it was a no show. Saturday was a day of worries as it still didn’t show. Dr. Moise received word from the driver late afternoon that he was broke down and would be there by 10pm. Again, a no show. Another call from the driver and we expected it 5am on Sunday. What a blessing to see the container finally arrive at 7am! Duane had arrived with a team on Saturday afternoon, so they were able to help with the unloading process. Although it was a stressful wait, we are continually amazed at God’s providential timing.
The team with Duane included Tabitha, Dr. Dylan Nugent (who previously came after the earthquake), Emily Hutcheson, & Daniel Bravin. While Duane organized in preparation for the solar team, Tabitha did some much needed work organizing one of our medical storage areas. She also spent time in the pharmacy, analyzing the inventory and how best to order supplies. Dr. Dylan and his group worked with Dr. Lamy performing orthopedic surgeries. We are starting to be recognized as having a good orthopedic program, and as a result we are seeing more serious cases. If you haven’t been to Haiti before, visualize roughly 100 scooters for every car, travelling every direction and on all sides of the road, so it is no surprise that most of these cases are the results of scooter accidents. Our staff desires to learn better skills and procedures, and we are grateful for those who share themselves, coming and working alongside our staff.
A few days after the medical team left for home (with the exception of Duane), another work team arrived, this time for solar installation. I was joined by fellow church members Bryan Johnson and Mark Snyder, along with three Smucker’s Energy techs, Jay, Justin, and Alex. Installation took 5 extremely long days. We had the system up and running on Friday, but unfortunately a major component failed Friday evening. Not what we wanted to happen, but our whole week had gone the same way. Several times we realized we had bought the wrong components or were short on different supplies. Duane had come to the rescue throughout the week and Friday evening was the same when he found a replacement component at another local ministry. Once again, God’s constant provisions are humbling. Saturday morning the system was up and running again, performing perfectly. What a blessing it is to have electricity 24/7, especially as our generators and inverter system batteries are at the end of their lives. Thank you men for your extra efforts! This has been a huge project, and I don’t want to forget all those who have worked and donated funds, preparing for this moment. God has richly blessed us throughout this project and it is a joy to see it completed.
Our home rebuilding program is also progressing. We are providing funds as they become available to repair employee’s homes damaged by the earthquake. After we provide an initial sum, employees must show receipts and pictures of work being done before additional money is given. Duane also did onsite inspections during his almost 3 week stay. John Eddy’s home has been finished and his family have moved back in. If you would like to support this effort, please include a note with your donation.
Life in Haiti continues to be hard. Inflation has hit them as hard, if not harder, as we are experiencing in the United States. The political situation continues to spiral downhill, and the after effects of the earthquake continue. Traveling from Haiti has gone from being as easy as can be expected to as difficult as possible. This trip had many travel adventures, starting on the way down. One of the Smucker’s techs had a flight delay, causing him to miss his original flight and not receive his bag. American Airlines cancelled one of our flights home and rescheduled for the next day. More seriously, a protest occurred at the Les Cayes airport while we there. The protestors broke the fence down, overwhelmed security, pushed a plane into the street, and burned it. The airport closed indefinitely, cutting off our normal means back to Port Au Prince. We have been flying in and out of this airport from Port Au Prince for some time now to avoid the dangerous roads. We purchased tickets to fly out of Jeremy instead (a 2.5-hour drive from Les Cayes), only to find out before we left that a bridge was out and we couldn’t drive all the way there. Our driver, John Eddy, gave us a ride to the bridge in the back of a truck, and another ride was arranged to get us the rest of the way to the airport after we walked over the bridge. The Jet Blue flight out of Port Au Prince that took the Smucker’s guys home was delayed 6 hours, forcing them to drive home to Pennsylvania from Fort Lauderdale once they landed. Duane’s flight was also cancelled and he had a 26-hour layover in Miami. I think I got it all – what a mess!
We are continually grateful to all of you for your support and prayers. We pray that God will continue to bless this ministry and that Christ will be glorified in all that we do. May we be instruments in the Redeemer’s hands.
In Christ, Dan Boerman