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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Food Distribution & Clinic Project


“If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.”
Proverbs 21:13  


Ken giving the new storage container some TLC
It was a blessing for Ken Challis and me to come alongside the St Charles, MO based ‘Kids Against Hunger’ organization in distributing food in Haiti this past week. There was never a dull moment!

The group consisted of Karl, Jerry, and George from the St Charles, MO area, and Ken, and myself from the frozen northland of WI & MI where we have had 142.5 inches of snow so far this season!
Distributing food from the truck

By late afternoon the second day, we found ourselves on the compound of 'Lemuel', just outside of the village of Anse Rouge, Northwest Haiti. We immediately started working on a storage container that will hold food. It just needed a little TLC in order to get it ready. In the evening, we were able to catch up with the friends at Lemuel that we have gotten to know.

Food Distribution  
Village of Ti Paradise receives food

The following day we headed over to the campus of Living Water Ministries to load the truck up with food from Kids Against Hunger. Global Compassion Ministries has two 20ft shipping containers located there to store Kids Against Hunger meals. There wasn’t much left in them but we were able to load up our truck 3 times and make distributions to two nearby villages, where we were met with great enthusiasm. The next day, two boats representing 3 villages along the coast came and picked up their allotment. We also delivered food to individuals and homes while traveling about the countryside. At one point, we stopped to have a sandwich for lunch, and was joined by a guy riding a motorcycle. He pulled up behind us and we asked if he would like to join us, which he gladly did! Before handing out food, Karl and George would present the gospel to those waiting.

Clinic In Boukan Patriyo

Ken explaining to the pastor and the nurse where the new roof
line will be
Karl and Jerry agreed to take Ken and myself up to the village of Boukan Patriyo, about an hour’s drive from Lemuel, so we could deliver medical supplies, medicine, and crutches to the clinic there and bring the nurse a ‘Smartphone’ so she can now contact the doctors that work with Grace Hill Ministries here in the States. We also needed to put together the final list of supplies for the new clinic roof. Ken and Karl tackled that project. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised anymore to find out that what I had anticipated to be a small, simple project has morphed into something larger than budgeted for. I pray that God will supply!

With that being said, if anyone has a burning and uncontrollable desire to help put this new roof on the clinic, we would enjoy your company! Ken Challis is in charge of the building project and is thinking that we could do this somewhere between the middle of April and the end of May. Final dates have yet to be determined. It may take up to two weeks, but if you can’t stay that long, we would do our best to accommodate whatever length of time you can be there. Just drop me an email.

Philadelphia Church and School 
Pastor in the doorway of his remodeled church

Church before the work was done
We stopped by the church we have come to know as ‘Philadelphia’ to see all the work the Global Compassion Ministries people put into it earlier this year. WOW! They did a lot of work! The church now has a cement floor and a raised area for the preacher. They took out the ‘sticks’ that held the roof on and put in real trusses. Walls were repaired and window shutters were added. There was a lot of work done, and it shows! The pastor is so excited about his fixed up church. He told me that more people are starting to attend service now that they can actually sit on one of the many new benches that were built and not on the few wood rails they had previously. Come to think of it, there was a few times where we saw people just sitting on the dirt and rock floor. But not anymore! He also mentioned that he can now give a funeral service there, something he said he hadn’t been able to do in the past because there was no seating. He would have to ‘borrow’ a church. He is soooo thankful! He gives thanks to the Lord.

Church after the remodeling. New cement floor, shutters
blackboards, trusses, and a lot of benches!
We spoke with the two teachers at the school which is in the church building. They stated that they have 55 children attending but that most weren't in school because they had to help their families haul water. The nearest water is a few miles away. The pastor told us that his family gets up at 3:00am in order to
make the journey to get water, for not only his family, but for the ladies that make a meal for the school children. They have a cistern beside the church, but it hardly ever rains. I’m in the process of seeing if we can have a truck of water hauled to their cistern at least once every 2 weeks to help alleviate this burden. I’m not exactly sure of the cost, but from what I can recall, the cost for about 3,500 gallons of water was US $80.00. Will that last 2 weeks? Don’t know, but we have to start somewhere. These children should be in school. Which leaves us with yet another question, where will we come up with the $160.00 per month for the water? God knows, He just hasn’t shown us yet!
Blind woman and her house

The Need for Food

The need for food is increasing in all of Haiti, and even more so in the Northwest. The missionaries from Lemuel told us that people are starting to come by their compound who are willing to work an entire day just for a meal. It’s sad to see. Below is an excerpt from an article in the New Yorker stressing the need for food in Haiti.

The New Yorker, Feb 17, 2016

Family that digs sand out of the hillside for a meager living
If only the Presidential election were the end of Haiti’s problems. Last week, the U.N. World Food Program (W.F.P.) warned that 1.5 million Haitians are at risk from severe malnutrition; the number has doubled since September, due to a combination of prolonged drought, the climate phenomenon known as El Niño—and, of course, the conditions of extreme poverty in which the vast majority of the population lives. It is Haiti’s worst food crisis in fifteen years. In some parts of the countryside, farmers have experienced crop failures of as much as seventy percent and in one of the worst affected areas scores of children have starved to death. The W.F.P. has launched an appeal for eighty-four million dollars to help stave off the crisis.

We need to continue to do all we can to help alleviate this horrific condition.

In closing, we ask for prayers for workman that will join us in putting a new roof on the clinic. We trust the Lord will provide the workman, equipment and the financial needs for this project.
 
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
 and your plans will succeed.”
Proverbs 16:3
 
Little girl receiving a food packet
 

In His Service,
Chuck & Gail Guerber

Grace Hill Ministries
P.O. Box 171
Ironwood, MI  49938
USA:  906.285.2500
Haiti:  509.4753.0272
guerber11@gmail.com

2 comments:

  1. I commend your service in Haiti. I can only imagine how what looks to be a small project has morphed into something far larger. The new roof that must have roof flashing, as the weather can be severely wet. You are surely on a special mission and I admire you all and the hard work you have put in.

    Pleasance Faast @ Shelton Roof

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  2. Thank you for those kind words! Yes, even a small project can morph into something bigger than expected. Especially in this remote region we work in. Now we need to truck in rock and sand to make cement which is all hand mixed. This started out being a project just to replace the tin, but now it is a complete new hurricane resistant roof! We have the tin and lumber for the trusses, but didn't budget in a cement cap and hurricane straps. And yes, we do have flashing;) Not sure where the funding and manpower will come from to get it all done. For me, I'm not really sure which end of a hammer to use, but I can be a gopher! We are still about $5k away from getting the rest of the supplies, but the Lord will supply! Thanks again for your reply!

    CG

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