Pictures on our way to church. Kathmandu, Nepal.

Sunday morning breakfast.

Sunday morning breakfast.

walk to church

walk to church

street view Kathmandu

street view Kathmandu

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Note 3 from S.E. Asia

Good morning everyone,

I wanted to let you know the team made it safely to Nepal.  They arrived at 2:30 pm their time which was approximately 3:45 am Illinois time.  Kathmandu is 10h 45m ahead of Illinois time.  Below are a couple of short texts sent by the team yesterday.  They say thank you for your prayers and to keep praying!

Dale

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Last 2 days (Wednesday and Thursday)  have been fantastic . We have been visiting churches & pastor’s outside of Phnom Penh.

Wednesday we visited 3 pastors in Kampong Chhnang province. The 1st was Pastor Paraoath & his sweet wife Chanta.

Note 2 from S.E. Asia

First, thank you for your prayers about our travel to Nepal!  Our flights into Kathmandu are still running, so we are off to Nepal tonight even though the blockade of Nepal by India is still happening.  The fuel shortage caused by the blockade will, of course, affect our itinerary and the trip may be slightly less easy and comfortable than it would have been, but we are convinced that (since the way is open) God still wants us to go there.  Our host has said this, of all times, it is a perfect time to be in Nepal interceding in prayer. We are excited to see what God has for us to learn and do in Kathmandu.

Second, we fly out of Phnom Penh late tonight and will have about 14 hours of travel on our way to Kathmandu–3 flights with 2 layovers in China. Please pray that we will be patient and Christ-like even when tired,  and that we will be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading and remember we are still available to be used as tools for the Kingdom while in transit!  Please also pray that we would hear and obey any promptings we get from God about what we can bring to Nepal as blessings during the blockade.

Note 1 from S.E. Asia

Toul Sleng Genocide Museum

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

Street View from Motel

Street View from Motel

This morning (Tuesday am for us,  Monday eve in U. S.)  we woke up in our guest house in a provincial city,  where we had driven the day before from the capital (~3.5 hours on a road much improved since 2012).  Monday we were able to visit the mushroom-growing project the church there has begun to be financially self-sufficient and also spent some time with neighborhood kids and the 6 orphans Pastor S is raising. (More details on these in a future update).

After breakfast at our coffee shop down the block,  Vandy (our Cambodian host)  &  Mark (our American host in Cambodia) went out in search of some crutches for Donna,  whose knee was still giving her a LOT of pain.  They came back with a cane,  which is working nicely for her, and her pain level has steadily improved throughout the day to about half of what it was initially,  but please do join us praying that God would finish her healing.

After their errand,  Mark & Vandy picked us up (our driver when we need a van to drive out of the city is a local pastor they know who drives for income) and we headed back to the capital. After lunch at Jars of Clay– the coffee shop less than a block away whose profits help “disadvantaged”  young people receive training and skills to provide for this themselves–most of the team continued on to the Choeung Ek Killing Fields memorial just outside of the city and then the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.  Tuol Sleng was originally a high school (attended by one of the pastors our friends work with) . During the genocide under Pol Pot,  it was a notorious prison called S-21 which oversaw the interrogation and torture of thousands of prisoners and their brutal executions, many at the Choeung Ek “Killing Field.”  Of at least 13,000 (likely as many as 30,000) prisoners were held at S-21 during the four years of Khmer Rouge rule, less than 20 are known to have survived. It is difficult to put into words what it is like to be confronted by all the physical and visual evidence.  Thank God for His gift of hope,  especially when faced with proof of nearly-overwhelming evil.

Over supper our team began debriefing about this intense day and found ourselves making  connections to the also-nearly-overwhelming evil of human trafficking.  After returning to our guest house we were able to have a extended time of prayer and worship emphasizing spiritual warfare against human trafficking.

We talked today in the van about how thankful we all are that God has put together such a cooperative team. The interpersonal drama that plagues some short-term trips is blissfully absent.  We praise God for that and thank you all for your prayers that, undoubtedly, make it possible.

Day 13 – Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014 – Haiti September School Construction

Prayer Calendar for Tomorrow (10/1): Rest of team departs for home.  Praise God for His faithfulness and what He has accomplished!

Today is our last day in Haiti – we depart for the airport at 6 am tomorrow morning.  Today we all praised God for what he has done for the construction of this school.  There are a lot of pictures, as promised, so let’s get started.

This is nothing more than a goat on a wall – goats like walls, we don’t know why.

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Early this morning before breakfast, we all head downstairs to the common area of the gust house (shown below).  Cody is getting ready for the day.

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Here is Larry looking through the porch door into the guest house.

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This is a picture of part of the team at Christianville during morning devotional before we take off for the job site.  Scott Couch is the one who has his arms folded.  We are thankful for his leadership, guidance, friendship and expertise.

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Below is a completed bathroom door.

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The bathroom is nearly completed – shown below.  All of the girls’ tile is finished and half of the boys’ tile is finished.

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Here is a good look at the nearly completed school.  In the picture are Larry and Pastor Benito.

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Pictured below is a finished classroom with benches/desks for students and a desk and chair for the teacher.  Praise God!

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Shown below is the nearly completed kitchen sink stand and shelf.  All that remains is the tile for the drying rack area.

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Right behind the kitchen is the outdoor cooking and large pot wash sink.  These are completed today including a thermometer in the oven.

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We made friends with a woman we have always seen over the past year, but she kept her distance.  Her name is Lourdie and she helped from time to time also.

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Below is Cathy painting.

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Finally, here is a group shot of all of the workers shot at the end of the day.  We will miss our friends in Haiti!  This is the last post on this blog.  Have a wonderful evening and thank you for everything!!!  See you all Sunday at church!

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Have a wonderful evening and thank you for all of your prayers, comments and continued support!

Scott Norton and the GSCC School Construction Team

Day 12 – Monday, Sep 29, 2014 – Haiti September School Construction

Prayer Calendar for Tomorrow (9/30): Last day of work in Haiti.  Pray for the right teachers and staff to be hired and retained by the school.

Good evening!  Even though tomorrow is our last day working n Haiti, we have not slowed down the pace.  We are wrapping as much of the projects as we can and are trying to make sure that the team from PEPC has all that they need to continue the work in a couple weeks.  Tomorrow we plan to stop working around 1 or 2 so that we can organize and inventory all of the tools.

Before today’s pictures, I wanted to show you all a picture of the inside of the bus that we rode back and forth to the beach yesterday.  Quite cozy we were.

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The bathroom doors are being fabricated from metal angle iron and plate steel.  Below are the stencils that are used for the boys and girls doors.  We traced around each of these and then hammer the steel with a chisel to make a raised relief of a boy or a girl.  Below is our cardboard couple relaxing on our tool room table next to Pastor Benito’s bananas.

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Shown below is Joslin chiseling around the outline of the girl stencil on the first girl’s bathroom door.

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Finally, we left the worksite in the back of a Dodge pickup.  Below is a picture that was snapped leaving the site.  In the foreground is Grand Savann Christian Church and in the background is the school and some of the Haitian workers and children.

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I promise more pictures tomorrow – we did not have time to take many today.

Have a wonderful evening and thank you for all of your prayers, comments and continued support!

Scott Norton and the GSCC School Construction Team

Day 11 – Sunday, Sep 28, 2014 – Haiti September School Construction

Prayer Calendar for Tomorrow (9/29): School build finishes up.  Pray for more sponsors for Haitian children as the school enrollment continues to increase.

I’d like to start off with a picture Cindy took from the orphanage Saturday afternoon.  Cathy Becker brought with her a Polaroid camera and took a picture of each child.  In this picture, you can see each child holding up their photo.

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Today we all attended church service and immediately afterwards, we moved to the schoolyard for the grand opening celebration.  Four ribbons were cut.  Larry and Cathy cut the first ribbon.  Larry gave a great dedication speech and so did many more people including Scott Couch and Pastor Benito.  The official name of the school is Vision Christian School of Grand Savann.

After the celebration, we rode back to Christianville and then prepared for the beach.  We planned to arrive at the beach by 1 p.m., but we had a few challenges along the way.  Before we even left Christianville, we realized that the bus was out of diesel fuel.  That took a while to get rectified.  We then loaded into the short bus and headed to the church to pick up 23 Haitians.  We had about 33 people in the bus on a hot and steamy day with little or no breeze.  We had to cross a bridge that was technically “out” to get out of Grand Savann.  When we approached the bridge, the bus stopped and we were all told to depart the bus and walk across the bridge while the driver gingerly crossed the bridge with the bus.  We all hopped back on the bus at the soccer field that is the same field that Sam and Jessica cross every time they enter/exit their homestead.  Next was a 45 minute ride west to the beach, but immediately after turning on to Rue 2 (Route 2 – the main highway), we realized we had a flat tire.  Luckily, on a Sunday, when nothing else was open, there was a man with a compressor, some tools and tires on the side of the road.  We all got out of the bus again and waited for the tire to be repaired.  Two pictures below memorialize that particular event.

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After the tire was fixed, we drove for about 40 minutes and then finally made it to the beach.  When we arrived a few of us went into the water to cool off.  Lunch was served almost immediately and we enjoyed a great meal.  The Haitians were taking pictures with a few cell phones and tablets – they seemed very excited to be there.  We all then went into the water and had so much fun.  We played catch and man-in-the-middle with a ball for over an hour in the water.  It reminded me of children at play – we were all so thankful for a beautiful day in the Caribbean Sea among friends who have sweated, bled, cried, laughed, eaten and prayed together for a solid two months over the past 17 months of RCC mission trips for the school construction in Grand Savann, Haiti.

On the ride home, a Haitian rose from his bus seat and spoke on behalf of the Haitians with translation from Pastor Benito about how thankful the Haitian team was.  A couple things he mentioned was how today was the best day of his life and how the Haitians will never forget this glorious day with the Haitian and American workers.  Many were in tears.  God shows himself so often when people Go and do his will by becoming his hands and feet to do good works for the glory of God.  (See Ephesians 2:10)

Please enjoy the pictures from the beach – what a wonderful day!  The first picture of Jerome captures the jubilation felt by all.

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Cheryl, Kerene, Cindy and Antonise are pictured below.

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Pictured below are Leon, Rochener, Joures and Scott.

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Below are Leon and Antonise.

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Below are Antonise, Jerome and Whitley.

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Have a wonderful evening and thank you for all of your prayers, comments and continued support!

Scott Norton and the GSCC School Construction Team

Day 10 – Saturday, Sep 27, 2014 – Haiti September School Construction

Prayer Calendar for Tomorrow (9/28): Church Services at GSCC; Grand Opening Celebration at GSCC School!  Praise God through Nehemiah 6:15-16!

Another productive day!  Many different projects were going on at once.  Below is a picture  of one of the Haitian workers grinding the welds on the kitchen sink frame.

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The picture below is of the first classroom (former base camp) being primed.  We will outfit this room with the benches/desks that were assembled today for the grand opening tomorrow.

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Shown below is the end of the bathroom block that will house a large sink.  This is the frame for the hand-wash sink which will be built out of mortar and tile.  In the picture is Pastor Joseph Benito.

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The picture below shows the seven benches/desks that were assembled and varnished today.  These are very comfortable benches/desks!

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Tomorrow we attend church and the school grand opening and then a trip to the beach with the Haitian workers, Pastor Benito and his family.

We’d like to thank those people who have left comments on the blog – the words of encouragement are working!  Thank you!

Have a wonderful evening and thank you for all of your prayers, comments and continued support!

Scott Norton and the GSCC School Construction Team

Day 9 – Friday, Sep 26, 2014 – Haiti September School Construction

Prayer Calendar for Tomorrow (9/27): School build continues.  Pray for Godly leaders to be raised up from among the children attending this Christian school.

Here is a picture of Cathy all geared up for her first day of work in Haiti with her charming husband, Larry.

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Another productive day!  We finished cutting, routing, sanding and varnishing all of the wood for ten (10) of the seventy (70) school benches/desks – our goal is to get 10 completed on this trip.  We have all of the frames welded for those benches as well.  We installed the frame for the outdoor kitchen sink.  We welded the table for the two indoor kitchen sinks.  We also started welding the teacher desk frames.  Things are coming together very well.

Pictured below are the finished boards that we will use for the benches/desks.  They are drying in one of the classrooms.  This classroom was painted yesterday with primer.

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Here is a picture of Mike and two small children that greeted us today after we exited the bus.

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Below is a picture Larry snapped of me drawing a girl/woman for a cardboard stencil that we can use to punch into the metal bathroom doors.  We also have a boy/man for the male restrooms.  The cardboard was moist from the humidity, so I had to dip the stencils in varnish and than when dried, coat the edges with duct tape.  We need to get four outlines from each stencil to cover all 8 bathroom doors.

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Tomorrow we continue with trying to wrap up more projects.  Tomorrow will be the last workday of this week.

Have a wonderful evening and thank you for all of your prayers, comments and continued support!

Scott Norton and the GSCC School Construction Team