Haiti – Day 7 – Last Day – (10/28/2015)

Good afternoon!  Yesterday we did not have time to do the blog because the team had to pack for a 5 am ride to the airport.  We are presently at the Port Au Prince airport waiting for our 2:25 flight to Miami.

All I can say is that yesterday was glorious – thank you God!  We finished all projects and had time to say a long goodbye to all of our Haitian brothers and sisters.  We then had dinner and did worship through music (Elizabeth Bird played guitar and sang) on the guesthouse rooftop.  It was a star-filled sky until the full moon was revealed by a passing cloud.  We had a wonderful evening of worship and praise.

Below are a bunch of pictures from the last day at the construction site.  Enjoy!

The last picture from Christianville - Squirrly was sad that we were leaving.

The last picture from Christianville – Squirrly was sad that we were leaving.

GSCC dedicated this painting to RCC.

GSCC dedicated this painting to RCC.

Team photo at GSCC yesterday.

Team photo at GSCC yesterday.

This is Guerda and she is deaf.  She specifically asked about Dale Baumgartner and said she misses him.

This is Guerda and she is deaf. She specifically asked about Dale Baumgartner and said she misses him.

Picture of the complex from the roof of the church.

Picture of the complex from the roof of the church.

Picture of Haitian workers toward the end of the day.

Picture of Haitian workers toward the end of the day.

Joslin and his wife-to-be on December 12th!

Joslin and his wife-to-be on December 12th!

Roodnaelle - she stays with Matt at In His Hands Orphanage.

Roodnaelle – she stays with Matt at In His Hands Orphanage.

Team pick toward the end of the day.

Team pick toward the end of the day.

View of awnings and fence on school building one.

View of awnings and fence on school building one.

Pastor Benito and some students.

Pastor Benito and some students.

Pastor Benito and some students walking to the office.

Pastor Benito and some students walking to the office.

Cody and a child in the church.

Cody and a child in the church.

Thank you for your prayers and we hope to be home soon!

Scott Norton and the Haiti construction team: Larry Becker, Mike Welch, Chris Lyons, Cody Cother and Scott Couch

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Haiti – Day 6 (10/27/2015)

Good evening!

We have one more work day after today so we worked extra hard today for God’s glory on the projects.

The plumbing was completed today.  All windows on the school building along the road now have the awning frames installed and tomorrow we finish those up.  Also the fence along the road has been installed and the final work on the block for the fence has been completed.  Below are a couple of job site pictures that show this.

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We’d like to do a special shout out to the Colorado team for all of the great work that they collectively did with the Haitians last October!

We also continued to build on our relationships.  Cody sat down with a child today and the child delicately deconstructed and then reconstructed a flower and then showed cody how he could blow bubbles with what he constructed.

I’d like to continue with the story from yesterday now.  Matt Wilson has been working on relationships with two Haitian men over the past several weeks and he brought them to Christianville for our nightly devotions.  Last night we went to the rooftop for devotions and closed with prayer requests.  During the prayer request time, these two Haitian men (names are Dadou and Dimitri – pictured below) asked that we pray for them to be closer to God.

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Scott Couch quoted many verses from the bible and discussed, through scripture, what it means to be closer to God and what Jesus has done for each one of us.  The young men were then asked to talk about this further in the main area of the guesthouse after we were finished on the roof.

Scott Couch, Matt and Chris reviewed the Romans Road and quoted more scripture for these two men.  At the end of the discussion, both men decided to accept Jesus as their savior and are excited to work toward baptism.  Praise God!

This evening, we held devotions on the rooftop again and we had these two Haitian men join us again, Matt, Rochner’s son and Pastor Benito.  Also joining us was Elizabeth Bird (the Christianville Guesthouse Coordinator) and a woman named Deb Runge who is doing mission work in Haiti through the Celebrate Recovery Ministry.  It was a beautiful evening with a slight breeze and a full moon.  After prayer requests, we all laid hands on Pastor Benito who was in the center (in the hot seat) and prayed for his family, the church, the school, perseverance, understanding, fortitude and many other things.  Before the prayer, Scott Couch asked that as we pray to utter words or phrases that come to us that are good and are pure that may help Pastor Benito.  What a special prayer this was and we all ended with tears and hugged Pastor Benito.

That’s all we got.

Thank you for your continued prayers!

Scott Norton, Larry Becker, Mike Welch, Chris Lyons, Cody Cother and Scott Couch.

Haiti – Day 5 (10/26/2015)

Good evening from Haiti!

Today was a busy work day.  We nearly completed the plumbing work from the water tanks, we finished the block columns along the road for the fence and we started repair work on the damaged awnings.

We had a little more time on our hands today to build relationships with the Haitians, young and old.  It was a really good day all around!

This evening, two Haitians joined us for devotions on the rooftop of the Christianville guest house.  When asked for prayer requests, both of the Haitians asked to be closer to God.  That prayer request lead into a series of events that we will share with you all tomorrow so we can do the story justice.

Have a great evening and blessed day tomorrow!

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers!

The Haiti Mission Team:  Larry Becker, Scott Couch, Scott Norton, Mike Welch, Chris Lyons and Cody Cother

Haiti – Day 4 (10/25/2015)

Today was a day of worship and relaxation.

We started the day riding a three-wheeler motorcycle to GSCC for worship service where Scott Couch from Vision Trust delivered the message of the Prodigal Son with Pastor Benito Joseph translating.  Luke 15:11.  The worship team played their bass guitar, rhythm guitar (with a missing string) and a wounded drum set and a floor tom with a drum head made out of thick fabric and duct tape.  They also used a thick tin can as a cowbell.  Despite the equipment, they sounded great!  They had a projector hooked up to a computer and during the music they had a powerpoint that was in-time with the music showing dancing chickens!  It was quite entertaining.

After church service, Scott Couch drove us all back to Christianville to relax the rest of the day.  We ate lunch at 12 and dinner at 6 – the food was great and we are thankful for it.  At 7 pm we went to the rooftop of the guest house for devotions with a full moon overhead.  it was a beautiful night!

Below are pictures of the construction site from Saturday.  Notice the new fence posts and block alongside the road of the first school building.

Fenceposts alongside the first school building.

Fenceposts alongside the first school building.

Shown below is a picture of the bathrooms and the new water tank on top of the church.

Notice the new water tank on top of the church.

Notice the new water tank on top of the church.

We are so thankful to do God’s work alongside our brothers and sisters in Haiti!  We are thankful for our health and safety.  We so very thankful for all of your thoughts and prayers!

Have a blessed evening and a great Monday!

Scott Norton and the other U.S. members of the Haiti mission team (Larry Becker, Chris Lyons, Cody Cother, Mike Welch and Scott Couch)

Haiti – Day 3 (10/24/2015)

Our team of 19 made significant progress again today.  Continuing our projects from yesterday:

  1. all of the fence posts and footings for concrete columns were set along the side of the school.  We expect to complete the concrete columns Monday and put up the chain-link fence Tuesday.
  2. the chain-link fence was completed along the back of the church the full length of the property.
  3. completed most of the new water system for the restrooms and the school.  All of the restrooms are in working order and fully functional.  We expect to complete the system by combining the water flow of the two tanks Monday
  4. completed installation of the skylight lighting in the restrooms.

We expect to begin making the awnings for the school windows Tuesday or Wednesday. We’ll work with and train Haitians as we go, so they are making and installing awnings before we leave and complete this project after we leave.

By the way, here’s a picture of our youngest team member I mentioned yesterday.  He was back again today watching for things he could do to help us!  And, he found some!  I gave him a collapsible water bottle with a pack of Gatorade and he was pretty happy and proud of his new water bottle.   Mike shared his rice and beans with the boy and a friend, and that was the best!

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Tomorrow, we’ll attend Pastor Benito’s church (8am–9:30).  Scott Couch will deliver the primary message.  As usual Pastor Benito will ask me to say something representing RCC.  I plan to share the next four days of prayer calendar requests with the congregation as examples of the things we pray for them.

Our prayer request for Sunday from the Prayer Calendar is “Pray for Pastor Benito; for God’s favor upon GSCC’s ministry to those in prison; for GSCC to be ‘a light for the Gentiles’.”

Thank you for your prayers and may God bless you!

Larry Becker and the other U.S. members of the Haiti mission team (Scott Norton, Chris Lyons, Cody Cother, Mike Welch and Scott Couch)

Haiti – Day 2 (10/23/2015)

We had another productive day.  Our team comprised of six from the US and 13 Haitian volunteers from Pastor Benito’s church (14 counting one young boy from the school!).

Working together as one team, we made very good progress on four things:

  1. Dug the holes along the side of the school for posts and concrete pillars for the chain-link fence.  This will both improve school security and protect the metal window awnings from truck traffic.
  2. Ran the first 50 feet of fencing along the back of the church.
  3. Lifted the new water tank to the top of the church to serve as a new water supply for the restrooms.
  4. Worked to complete installation of the skylight lighting in the restrooms.

Tomorrow, we’ll continue work on these projects.  I apologize for the lack of pictures today.  The internet is slow and it’s getting late 😦 .

Our prayer calendar for tomorrow, Saturday, reads “Pray for flexibility, endurance, strong leadership, and protection from injury.  Pray for the progress of the build”.

Again, thank you for your prayers and may God bless you!

Larry Becker and the other U.S. members of the Haiti mission team (Scott Norton, Chris Lyons, Cody Cother, Mike Welch and Scott Couch)

Haiti – Day 1 (10/22/2015)

Today was day one of our school construction trip in Haiti.  It was great to see all of our Haitian friends again!

Yesterday (Wednesday) evening before dinner we had our first look at the church and school for over a year.  We were pleasantly surprised by how much more work the Haitians  have done to the school and church!  The pictures below illustrate some of this…

School

School

Today we collectively accomplished two things:

  1. We dug post holes and set the posts for a fence from the back of the church to the front of the property near the road.
  2. We hooked up several toilets in the bathrooms and got the toilets functional (flushing).

Tomorrow we continue with the fence and the bathrooms.

Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts.

Scott Norton and the Haiti Mission Team (Larry, Mike, Chris and Cody)

Note 4 from S.E. Asia

God has been blessing our team in so many ways that now that I can sit down at a keyboard it is difficult to know where to begin. Sunday morning, the beginning of our first full day in Nepal, began with worship at KICC, a fairly large international congregation made up of a lovely combination of largely European expatriates (foreigners living abroad), some Americans, teams and individuals who have come to Nepal for outreach from all over the world, and a healthy sprinkling of Nepalis, many of whom are getting their own corporate worship time after having led/pastored their own Nepali churches who meet on Saturday. What a taste of Heaven to worship with such a diverse congregation! The message (delivered by Pastor Rendell, from America, but who served in Africa for many years) was about Hagar, El Roi (“God who sees”) and Ishmael (“God hears”). After church service and fellowship over Nepali milk tea afterwards, we were off to lunch to hear the stories of some refugees in Kathmandu.

The first to share with us was Allen (code name). He is a well-educated doctor from a very wealthy family in northeast Africa who had been living and traveling abroad doing business. Then his father back in his home country decided to stop paying off the war lord (heavily armed men who control their own little ‘kingdoms’in that country) who had been extorting money from him for “protection,” because the war lord was using that money to fight against his own countrymen. This stand against injustice cost Allen’s father his life when the war lord attacked their estate and overpowered their many guards. Allen’s mother, siblings and his 2 sons were able to get safely into a well-fortified bunker on the estate, but were basically trapped there. They were able to contact Allen, who risked his life to come back into the country and was able to get them off the estate into relative safety by buying a secluded piece of land to farm in the jungle. But he had to flee again, his resources much limited because the war lord had seized all the family’s assets. Then, in his attempt to find work outside the country he fell victim to human traffickers, who were supposedly finding him a job in India, but instead essentially stole his passport and his medical credentials and left him stranded in Nepal with almost nothing and no way to even prove his identity. This story of deception is typical for African refugees who are in Kathmandu—they had to flee their home country for whatever reason and are victimized by traffickers and basically stuck in Nepal indefinitely.

But Allen, who calls himself a Muslim, but whose mother was a Christian who taught him about the Bible, has (despite great difficulties and sufferings including hunger) has not given up in despair. Since the earthquake he has been active in the villages outside Kathmandu who were hardest hit by the earthquake. He has done so much he has even been covered in the newspaper, acknowledging his trans-formative work providing medical clinics and rebuilding schools and water supplies in remote areas.

Ron (code name) had to flee his Southeast Asian home country after fighting for democracy and human rights leading up to the revolution in his country in the 1980’s, which resulted in a military government seizing power. He has been in Nepal since 1989 and a corrupt Nepali government or U.N. official has sold his identity to someone—there is someone (probably Nepali) who has been resettled in a Scandinavian country under his name. This leaves him without a legal identity, so unless there is some miracle, he will never be able to leave his very difficult life as a refugee in Nepal.

Zebedee (also code name) had to flee from his home in a Southeast Asian country after having been arrested for his Christian mission and discipleship work in that strongly Buddhist country. He was badly beaten in jail and only escaped in a miraculous manner clearly orchestrated by God. He has been here in Kathmandu 7 years, and is approved by the UN for resettlement to the U.S. but cannot leave Nepal until the matter of his overstay fines (defined below) are paid.

Because they didn’t enter the country legally, or no longer have proof that they did so, they are considered illegal immigrants and are fined by the Nepal government ~5 US dollars each day, despite the fact that they are legally barred from working in Nepal and so are not allowed to have any income. They do not want to stay in Nepal and take up resources, nearly all were fleeing for their lives when they came here. But because they are not recognized by the Nepali immigration department as refugees, they are racking up thousands of dollars of fines that they are required to pay before Nepal will approve them to leave. They do not even have money to provide for their basic needs like shelter & daily food, so we are praying that someone with authority in the Nepali government will have common sense and have their fines waived so they can be resettled and begin rebuilding their lives. Please join us in asking God to provide for their needs while they are here, to give them hope when their circumstances would dictate despair, and to change hearts and minds of people in power.