Saturday, December 18, 2010

Project Haiti

With over 1.2 million people still living in tent cities all around Haiti, there is a definite and very REAL NEED for permanent, stable and adequate housing.

First Baptist Church of Jackson Mississippi has partnered with Hispanola Mountain Ministries of Barahona, Dominican Republic to begin a project to construct new housing for the Haitians displaced by the earthquake that stuck there almost a year ago.
is one tent city we know of that has over 50,000 residents. The conditions are overwhelming. We visited a very nice tent city [pictured to the right]. This city has one well that was drilled at 200+ feet and the water is still not suitable to drink. The wel has no electrical or assisted pumping mechanics or otherwise. When we arrived there was a little girl pumping water for her family. She was filling several vessels with water. When I saw the little girl pumping the water I was convinced the pump must be easy to operate. So.... I gave it a shot...lets just say I was winded after the first 5 pumps!
Project Haiti has a plan that included the design of a small house that could be built with panels [SIPS] and shipped in to the country via continers and assembled on site by volunteer mission workers. There are many aspects of this project, and if you have been following my blog you know that I have been working with Pastor Tim Dortch of Hispanola Mountain
on documenting and prperation for the project wherever I can. The Haiti Hose will be constructed with 4x8 panels that consist of 4 inches of Styrofoam sandwiched between 1/4" sheet of magnesium board. When constructed you would have a 12x16 house complete at around $3000.00 per dwellig. This will be a part of a planned community. There would be houses, a church, a medical clinic,and a school. There will also be areas set aside to develop agriculture. On this trip we had a world renowned agriculturalist studying the Land to determie the feasability and to plan for future production of food. The idea of a community that has the ability to house it's residents and also support it;s residents with food is a dream that even the people of Haiti at this time have been reluctant to dream. The reproduction of these communities throughout Haiti could be part of the long-term help that is needed to get this country back on it's feet. There are five elements of this project Housing-Church-Education-Agriculture/Food-Medical/Dental.
Housing:First Baptist Jackson
Medical/Dental: Hispanola Mountain Ministry
Church: HMM & FBCJ
Agriculture/Food:Metro Baptist Association
Education: Hope For The Hungry

On NOVEMBER 16th I went with the team to go to Ganthier Haiti to review the project .
The TEAM consisted of Pastor Tim Dortch of HMM Barahona DR
Pastor Larry Garner, Director of church services for Metro Baptist Association. Pastor Larry is an author, conference speaker[in fact he is familiar with DelMarVa and has spoekn at conferences in Ocean City, MD]
Pastor and Veteran Missionary, Harold Watson. Pastor Watson being an award winning agronomist has won the equivalent of the nobel peace prize in Asia for developing SALT and FAITH [Sloping Agriculture Land Technology, Food Always In The Home]
Jim Watson, DVM with the Mississippi Department of Vet. Medicine.
Seth Rineholt- Seth helped with Videography and Photography.

When we crossed the boarder into Haiti, a well dressed man came up to me and in broken spanish asked me if we were doctors. I told him "no" and asked him why. He exclaimed he needed medicine desperately.
I asked what type of medicine. He said he needed medicine for Colera. I was having trouble communicating and was not clear if he needed this or what the deal was. I asked him to wait because I knew Tim would be back from the border patrol office in a few minutes and could speak Creole with this man. When Tim came back we found out that he was a Pastor in the town Ganthier and needed the medicine for someone in is town.

As many of you know I am here in the Dominican
Republic working on developments for the Christian Radio Station for Ears To Hear Radio. Part of our desire is to use the radio to broadcast the word of God clearly taught in the native tongue(s) of this area. Every day has it's ups and downs and before I crossed the border in my heart had been asking God for revelation and just some confirmation from Him. Before we left the border crossing literally out of no-where a young man walks up to the back of our truck listening to a radio. This radio he was listening to was a Galcom Solar Powered Fixed signal FM radio tuned to the "Love a Child" station in Haiti. These radios are part of our vision for the Dominican Republic and Haiti. I was humbled and encouraged. We left the border crossing after several complications but after much prayer we were through the border and on our way to Ganthier, Haiti.

We settled in at a Hotel (Peace and Love) in Ganthier. The rooms were surprisingly clean but the power and water was off and on. The First Full day of our held plans to walk the property being offered up by the Town of Ganthier for the project. This piece of land ws up on the mountain and was the area that the Mayor had suggested for the project. I remember the first meeting that Tim and I had with the mayor back in September when Chris Bartholme and I were here for the COICOM broadcast convention.
that meeting Pastor Tim made a point to let the Mayor know the intentions were to build a Church first and then begin the houses and medical. The Mayor made it sound as though "the had enough churches" and the "people would not want another church". Pastor Tim knew that the project was of importance and that God would have His way so Pastor Tim agreed we would build the medical clinic first and then the houses and the church at the same time. So....we had a meeting with the Town representing the area where he mayor would like the project to be. Needless to say the meeting started out OK . Frandy our translator started out by saying how important this project woud be for the people of Haiti. He told them of the news that early this morning the man in Ganthier had indeed been confirmed with Colera and had passed away.
The Towns People began to discuss loudly as passersby began to taunt and shout cursings to the group. A man walked by appearing to be demon possesed and shouting voodoo curses. The meeting turned to chaos and we swiftly loaded up into the vehicles and fled for our safety. The Mayor apologized for how the people responded and encouraged us not to give up he would contact us in the morning to take us to another area that needs help and has the land to offer for the project.

We visited a tent city near Ganthier where Larry Garner, Harold Watson, and Mr. Watson, DVM took some time to review the tent city set up. Harold Watson will be surveying the plot of land to determine what kind of vegetation/food can be planted to support the people that will occupy the new houses. Mr. Watson, DVM will be looking at the animals and livestock to see what possibilities there are for the future.
Mr. Garner is reviewing the possibilities for church plants and education and discipleship.

The second day of the trip proved to be very encouraging . The mayor took us to a new location on the other side of the Town that looks beautiful. The people living in the town welcomed us with open arms. They first thing they asked for was a Church! They are meeting with a large congregation under a tree. Tim spoke with the group to explain the project. Pastor Harold Watson spoke to the group about the possibilities of agriculture. He explained how it is a gift from God to supply our physical needs here on earth. He asked if they had a dream for their community. Mr Watson was very clear on a project that is to be successful must have people who are ready to work. This project would not be a project where we come and do and then leave but rather a project where we co-labor with the people. Where they would be trained to sustain the land and the growth of the vilage. The first part of the project is identifying the obstacles that stand in the way of the growth of the commnity. Using each other as a rescource and realizing the limitations of the land so discouragement doesn't choke out the desire to prosper and provide for the members of the village.

by God's strength working through us can this dream be accomplished. Mr. Watson said "If you stand here with your hand out, I can not help you... if you come with a hoe on your sholder and seed in your pocket and a dream in your head, we can work together." Luke 8:14-16 (New King James Version)

14 Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 But the ones thatfell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.

We stopped in at the orphanage that sister Dada runs.

There are 10 or so children there and I have been blessed each time just to stop in and play with the kids. We had a few "silly bands" left over from the Mt Vernon Church group that gave them to my kids so Christian

was certain to give them to me before we left the DR and said to give them to the children in Haiti. So Seth and I had fun giving each of the kids at least two silly bands in the name of Jesus. Dada takes really good care of these children. Please pray that God would continue to provide for her as she shows His love to these children. Pastor Tim will be taking another trip in before Christmas to bless the chidren of this orphanage.

Dada has shown God's grace and hospitality to us each time we come to Haiti.

Seth and I both became ill after the first day on this trip. We were still very blessed to be a part of the work and to share in the experience. God Bless you and thank you for being patient with the updates. I will post the rest of November and the beginnins of December throughout the next couple of days.