It still took about 2 1/2 hours to get to Leogane and we took a different route today leaving Port-au-Prince. During the ride Pastor Bernard began to hum a song that sounded familiar. I listened closer and found that he was humming the tune to Simon and Garfunkel's "El Condor Pasa" (look it up and many of you will remember it). So I began to hum along, then Matt, and he was amazed that we would know the tune. He said in French Creole, the language spoken in Haiti, it is a hymn that they sing at the church he shepherds, that speaks of the grace and love of God. He was excited that we knew it.
We arrived at the school nearly a complete group. Nathan Nichols flew in this morning and was shuttled from the airport to the work site. He got delayed a couple of days, not by the cold and stormy weather of Seymour, but because of job interviews that came up at the last minute. As a new college graduate, he is looking for a full-time job, and we pray one of these opportunities will provide that. So now we are 29 strong.
And the extra people made a difference! The many blocks were all moved from their piles far from the school to where they were needed. It was like busy ants moving them along until the task was complete. The laying of the bricks continued today, and we made awesome progress. We moved from the exterior walls to the interior walls. And today was the day that we began to affix the names of the sponsors to the blocks. Pictures were taken of each and every block that people sponsored. Matt Nieman, the official group photographer, took over 800 pictures today - most of them the names of the sponsors or those sponsored in memorium.
The efficiency of this group, in terms of the output of work, has amazed the hired workers, the foreman on the job, and Pastor Bernard. Never has a group produced the results in just a couple of days as this one. A great sense of accomplishment fills our hearts as we serve the people of this congregation and the students who will spend many years in this school. Solo deo gloria!!
Some of our group took time today to climb to the top of the very steep hill behind the church and school and take in the view from above. Probably there will be pictures posted of this. It was interesting that they said that, as they looked around, they were able to see many fires being burned - people burning their trash and people cooking their meals over an open flame. There is no electricity that I've seen in the area of the schooly Some of the workers actually stay in the church at night to make sure that none of the supplies are stolen in the dark of the night!
We finished the day by making a "fireman's brigade", passing along 5-gallon buckets filled with concrete, as we filled in a support of rebar, before we begin the next layer of blocks. We'll be getting on the scaffolding tomorrow. Not the scaffolding we're used to, though. It will be concrete blocks and plywood. Should be an interesting day.
The trip home has been the worst yet. Over 3 hours. The bus is beginning to develop some overheating issues, and standing still in traffic or moving ever so slowly, does not help things. But the attitude in the bus is still one of encouragement and we did a time of devotion and reflection on the way home led by Pastor Ahlemeyer. We've also learned a hymn in Creole that we've been asked to sing on Sunday. One of the security guards helped us with our pronunciation and pace of the hymn. In the end he was pleased, but we need more practice!
The pace and heat are taking its toll on the group. No one wanted to go out for dinner tonight so we ordered pizza from Domino's! Fifteen pizzas were delivered within 30 minutes by a delivery man on a motorcycle. Imagine that, if you will. We met in the pool area, relaxed, ate, drank, and visited in a casual atmosphere that was good for the rejuvenation of the spirit, as well as give us all time to know each other better apart from the work site.
We look forward to what adventures will come our way next. But we are feeling confident that the work being done is pleasing to the Lord in helping His kingdom grow, so that more will hear His great story of love and sacrifice, death and resurrection, and will be saved!
Again, thanks for the encouraging comments. It gives us strength and is definitely good for the morale. Have a blessed