October 6, 2018
We arrived in Gressier, Haiti, today at about 4:30 after an easy and uneventful day of travel. Praising God that everything was on time and made all of our connections. A picture of us at the Haitian Queen with Jennifer Blevins is attached. We then went on a walk after getting settled in a little bit and a picture of our group with some of the local youth on an overlook above the area where we are staying is attached.
After dinner and during our devotions tonight the ground started shaking … this was the first time many of us experienced an earthquake. Preliminary numbers report that it was a magnitude 5.9. No damage in our immediate area, but we don’t know if there was damage elsewhere in Haiti. Please be praying alongside us that the damage is minimal and that the people of Haiti are safe.
We brought down 42 back packs for the kids. These were provided by Constance Free Church. God is always around us, I think he has a since of humor. During our packing night we had to stuff suitcases with 42 back packs. There was Chris kneeling on a suitcase to get it closed while Kent and Paul pulled the zippers shut. I (Kurt) was praying the stressed zipper teeth weren’t going to let loose (a tube of polygrip was not available). We and the suitcases made an uneventful trip.
During the week several projects are lined up. As all mission trips we need to stay flexible.
Projects will be repairing the water purification system at the Haitian Queen, building a house in Jan Jan, and electrical construction at a church.
The team is looking forward to a week guided by the Lord, supporting His full time servants.
October 7, 2018
Regarding the earthquakes that have been going on in Haiti the last 2 days we want to thank all of you for your prayers for our team and the people of Haiti. The earthquakes have been well north of where we are staying and there is no damage in our area. There has, however, been damage closer to the epicenter of the earthquake with some damage, injuries, and some loss of life. Please continue to pray for the people of Haiti.
Started the day going to the local Haitian church with Jennifer and the ReachGlobal team. Wonderful experience with the sermon (which they translated to English for us) topic on Hebrews 12:1-2 “… let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Fixing our eyes on Jesus …”. The pastor then used the analogy that we need to turn on our “spiritual GPS” so that we can follow the path of God and let him guide us.
After lunch we went on a prayer walk (a photo of our group before we left is below) and came across Joe, an interpreter who helped during last year’s trip. Joe invited us into his house and we were able to pray with Joe and his wife in their house! We also visited Mamoun and Tafana at the house which was built by the 2016 COG Mission Team and we were able to pray for the family and the community. Mamoun was very excited to see us, she gave the strongest hugs you will get from anyone, and a photo of Mamoun and Paul is below. Both encounters were encouraging for our team.
To round out the afternoon we played soccer with some of the neighborhood kids. Very competitive game and was a lot of fun to watch and play.
October 8, 2018
Today we traveled to Jan Jan in the morning to scope out an electrical project that we will be working on tomorrow and Wednesday at a church that is being built in Jan Jan. We also had a chance to stop by the local school and some of our team was able to play tag with the school kids.
In the afternoon we completed a number of maintenance projects at the Haitian Queen (the Reach Global house in Gressier. Projects included replacing a light fixture, rewiring the power to the pump house, changing out an outlet, and fixing some shower heads.
October 9, 2018
Another great day in Haiti.
Chris and Kurt stayed at the Haitian Queen to work on a few projects. Chris and Sonson (one of the youth kids from the neighborhood) hauled a lot of rock to fill in around a drain system for the kitchen sink. Chris also helped Jennifer complete some medical charts for the kids in Reach Global’s “Global Fingerprints” program. Kurt installed a UV light that is part of the water purification system at the Haitian Queen and redesigned and rewired the electrical power supply for the well water pump drinking water pump to provide more flexibility in running the pumps along with the water purification system.
Paul and Kent went to Jan Jan after stopping at the local building supply store in Gressier and were able to get a good start on the electrical wiring project at the church. It was interesting to see the local building supply store and see what was available for our project AND we had a great day working with two of the guys from the church in Jan Jan.
October 10, 2018
We made another trip to Jan Jan today to continue working on the electrical wiring for the church that is being built. We made great progress and are probably more than 50% done with the project – which includes installing conduit, pulling electrical wiring for lights and outlets, and installing the outlets, light fixtures, and switches. We also had a chance to visit the area of Jan Jan where the 2017 Cross of Glory Haiti Mission Team worked last year to start the building of two houses for local families. Both of the houses have been finished and we had a chance to talk to the dad of one of the families – a picture of him talking with Jennifer Blevins outside the house is attached. It was special to see how lives have been changed by the specific work of a Cross of Glory mission trip.
Our final day in Jan Jan today. Prior to beginning work this morning we prayed that God would bless the church that we were working on and that the church would be His light in the community. We made great progress on our electrical wiring project and were able to finish the installation of the conduit. A photo of Paul and Chris installing the conduit is attached. Our work today was just like doing a project back home because we had to make two trips to the building supply store for materials. The second trip was done by Sony, an interpreter that works for Reach Global that was with us this week, on a motorcycle to pick up 3 sections of 10 ft long conduit … not exactly how it is done in Minnesota, but made for an interesting day. Nate and William Van Oss were very involved with the work yesterday and today drilling holes with the hammer drill, cutting conduit with a hacksaw, screwing in the concrete anchors, etc.
We then went to local Café for ice cream treats and coffee. A perfect ending to a great work day and week.
The entire COG team is thankful for Kurt’s leadership and willingness to lead our group. The Reach Global team led by Jennifer along with Dave, Stephanie, and interns Megan and Calla were tremendous and were amazing hosts.
God’s timing has just been so incredible the entire week. It seems that we would leave and arrive at our destinations at the moment required. For example, we arrived at the supply store one afternoon moments before they closed the gate. Another time we left Jan Jan just before a downpour and the drive out would have been difficult had we waited even a few more minutes. God’s presence has been felt the entire week. Our daily devotionals have increased the bond between our group and has helped us grow closer to God.
We will be travelling home tomorrow and thank you for your thoughts and prayers the entire week.
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