Howdy from Jacob’s Well Ministry Center!! We hope that everybody stayed warm today in the great state of Texas!! Today was a very fun filled day for the team! The day started with the sound of rain on our tin roofs. Fortunately by the time that we were ready to get out of our super comfy camp beds the rain had cleared and it was a super beautiful day! Breakfast consisted of toast, eggs, coffee (which is basically the best coffee ever to be had) and juice. Immediately after breakfast we headed to the front of camp and pretty soon campers were coming through the camp gate. Camp started off without a hitch and before long all the campers and staff were having fun doing their activities.
Meanwhile as camp was getting started Konrad, Jeremy, Jack and I helped load up the generator in the Tap Tap to head to Limbé to get Konrad and Jeremy started on their project, repairing a gate at Gersan’s mother’s property. We attracted quite a crowd when 4 “blancs” showed up in the middle of the town with a welder! Jack and I soon after headed back to camp to grab some things and then head into Cap Haitian to find wood to build a replacement roof for a local villager.
Lunch was a spicy chicken with rice and beans. Delicious! The kitchen crew worked all morning to prepare the lunch for camp and it was worth it. After the campers and staff finished lunch, the cabins had “hang out time”. The counselors led their cabins in singing, games and reciting scripture. Such an awesome thing to see!
Later on, the counselors and campers enjoyed their final activities of the day. The kids seemed to be hyped up on sugar as the day came to an end. We finished the second day with Bible drama and singing. It’s such an experience to hear the beautiful voices of the Haitians! One of my favorite parts of camp! In drama, we finished the book of Jonah and tomorrow we will read a parable from the book of Matthew. To finish off the day of camp we all said our goodbyes to the campers as they left through the camp gate. They all smiled and waved as they grabbed their bag full of cereal snacks and went on their way.
Meanwhile while camp ended, Jack and I got back from our road trip to Cap Haitian with a load of lumber to build the roof. It is always fun going into town, meeting new people and doing new things such as buying energy drinks (Haitian Toro) from a barber shop! That was fun! After a late lunch we got to work with Hans, Konrad and Jeremy on making cuts for the roof. Tomorrow we will assemble the roof onsite! We are excited to bless this family with a new roof!
One thing that Stuart worked on today was a conference for local youth leaders. It went great! The leaders were very eager to learn what it meant to be a youth leader and listened intently to what Stuart had to say. A big topic was how to engage your youth beyond the Sunday morning church service. Tomorrow they will talk about how to play games and make a schedule for a typical week of youth ministry!
Well, we are winding down after a nice dinner of cheesy potatoes and barbecue chicken. We studied Ezra 4 whose theme was dealing with opposition. We are now settling down and headed to bed! We will be up early tomorrow for our last day of camp! The forecast looks like we will have some rain but “This Is Haiti” and we will trust the Lord to help us adapt!
Jenny and Robert
Haiti 10 team
Sak Pase (what’s happening)? Today was the last day of camp and it started out dry but ended up wet. The skies dumped over 3 inches of rain on us from about 2:30pm to about 9:30pm. Luckily the kids were able to get in all their activities in and eat lunch before the deluge began. We ended up having royal campfire in the hastily cleared dining pavilion as our team was finishing lunch but we’ll get to that in a bit.
First things first. We started with a breakfast of oatmeal, toast, and Haiti’s version of Kolaches. As with everything we have eaten here, it was delicious. In addition to our last 2 activity periods going well, the final Bible drama also happened before the rain. It went well, as the story of the unmerciful servant and forgiveness was told for the kids. Lawton played Jesus, Ben played Peter, Johnny was the servant who owed ten thousand talents, while Tomas owed Johnny the Denarii. Johnny slapped Tomas for effect, and kicked him for good measure. He may have gotten carried away. (Johnny admitted.) Needless to say, the kids laughed about it for the rest of the day and hopefully learned something about forgiveness (tie into Jonah). After the drama and lunch it was time for royal campfire, something we do at the end of every week at Frontier Camp. Due to the torrential downpour right before we were planning to get started, we got kids up to the pavilion and sang songs for quite a while, drowning out the sound of the rain. The Haitian staff did a very moving skit where one of the program directors played Jesus taking on the diseases and afflictions of his children. It was a great picture of how Jesus shows love by taking on our burdens, and it ended with his crucifixion and resurrection.
Stuart continued his last day of the youth leaders’ conference with some young men and women from the University in Limbe. He continued to encourage them to be involved in their students’ lives and offered different ways to reach out to them outside of official church meetings. This included learning games, icebreakers, and other ways to promote interaction with the kids that they’re involved with. Stu provided them with a great game plan (an example week) for youth ministry. All in all, it was a great end to the conference, and left the leaders excited and motivated to share the word with their students. They repeatedly asked Stu when he could come back and teach them even more.
While the rest of the team was busy with the last day of camp and the conference, the construction guys framed a roof for an older local villager who has recently come to Christ. The staff at Jacob’s Well refers to him as “Papa Smit”, and the joy on he and his family’s faces was undeniable, as the new roof hasn’t even received the top layer of tin yet, and is already much more effective at keeping out the seasonal rains. This project is probably one of the most rewarding projects I have even been a part of and was definitely impactful for those not familiar with typical dwellings in Haiti. This family lives in a house that measures 14’ by 18’. The outside walls are constructed of poles, woven wood strips, and whatever other materials the locals can find, coated with mud and concrete plaster. The interior walls are paper, and resemble cubicles as they do not reach to the ceiling. Five people live in this tiny hut. They truly possess the ability to make a home out of any material available, and are more content with so little than many of us are with so much. It took the construction team most of the morning and the afternoon to frame the roof on the ground, and level and prepare the house to receive the roof…..most of which occurred in the pouring rain. Once ready, the rest of the team, along with friends and family and camp staff came over to “raise the roof” as we all gathered to lift it into place. The smiles and joy of the family was incredible as Jeremey, Robert, Konrad and Jack went to work quickly to secure the roof frame and the first layer of roof (tarp) to the existing structure. Next week, the family will receive the top layer of tin to finish the roof, under the direction of Boss Tchaly, the director of construction projects here at Jacob’s Well. It was a great day.
All in all, these things pale in comparison to the joy in our heart at seeing some of our new friends and knowing that their previous beliefs, mostly fear and hopelessness under the voodoo religion were washed away and being replaced with a flood of grace. This is truly a beautiful place, where God is showing us his plan to reach his children that he keeps calling back to himself. Less than a month ago, the man who thanked us so much and laughed with the joy of God was living life unaware of the joy and peace that comes with being a child of the King.
After a delicious dinner of cheesy pasta, beef, and cake, we continued our study in Ezra, going through chapters 5 and 6. We also went through some downpours that Hans had to more or less shout through and a few more power outages that had us decide to just turn out the lights and let Hans read from the light of his laptop. We’re heading to bed, and are excited to attend church tomorrow morning with the local villagers here in Ti Guinea.
Goodnight and God bless from this beautiful place – Jack and Greta.
-Haiti 10 team.
What a beautiful clear sky greeted us this morning at Jacob’s Well as we arose to prepare for this Sunday! The rain clouds of yesterday had cleared and as we shared another tasty breakfast, we all prepared our hearts for a special day of worship. Quiet sleep had helped us all (although one cabin had been abruptly awakened during the night due to a bird that flew into their cabin – but Robert, Stuart, Dan and Zac managed to evict the foul).
Worship today was celebrated in the local little village church called Jacob’s Vision; it is in the village of Tse Ginea adjoining Jacob’s Well camp. Many of the Haitian camp leaders were there along with the entire Haiti 10 team. The sounds of Haitian worship were stunning! The entire service seemed suited to worship God in Spirit and in Truth. Stuart was invited teach, and drew the text from Romans 3:21-28…the Gospel was clearly summarized in a way that was an encouragement to all; any unbelievers present were presented with a clear opportunity to trust in Christ alone and receive salvation by faith. Believers were challenged to live without pride and serve with thanksgiving to God alone for His gift of forgiveness. Gersan translated the message accurately (except for an illustration involving soccer, where Gersan’s favorite team somehow mysteriously got mentioned)!
After a hasty but filling lunch (chicken pot pie and lasagna) the entire team left Jacob’s well for a well-deserved afternoon at the beach. Imagine the fun and comradery as three Haitian interns and two camp counselor guys joined for the hour-long drive to the beach at Port Margot. Traveling in the back of a large “tap-tap” truck, along crowded gravel roads and broken highways, was another great experience. Riding in the open air, seeing the countryside and towns, singing hymns and praise songs, chatting and joking with friends, and looking forward to swimming at the beach was a highlight.
There was no disappointment as the Haiti 10 team splashed and swam. Rainclouds formed along the nearby mountains, but never threatened the seashore. Hans amazed everyone with his record-setting body surfing distances. Sophie gathered a collection of seashells while Lawton, Johnny and Tomas fought the waves (and each other) for supremacy. Lisa took pictures while Jeremy and Kaylie struck poses. Frisbee, swimming, beachcombing, and surveying God’s amazing, beautiful creation delighted the group. We even traveled to a second nearby beach and enjoyed the incredible clear water, the mountains surrounding the bay and an inspiring sunset.
After returning to Jacob’s Well, the hungry team enjoyed dinner and turned to another study in Ezra. Did you know that Ezra “devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel” (Ezra 7:10)? The Haiti 10 team has been blessed to read and study the book of Ezra, brought to life with a genuine context shared by Hans.
Then came the details of cleaning (the mud from yesterday’s rain is still with us at camp…and getting on shoes and clothes and other predictable places). Greta capably organized the lineup of suitcases, and packing is still underway.
The work in Haiti still isn’t done, for God is at work here, helping believers to want to do and to actually do His work. But the Haiti 10 team is preparing to return home. It is impossible to list everything accomplished on this trek, but here are a few items of note:
• Literally hundreds of children heard God’s Word and saw Christian examples in the camp staff! Please pray that this input will have lasting impact in building young people who will love the Lord.
• The Christian radio station located at camp, Radio Ciel, saw its main transmitter repaired by Dan, bringing the coverage back up with a power boost from 75 watts to 500 watts! Please pray for this 24-hour-a-day outreach, since problems with the Haitian electric power supply and the main camp generator still can lead to outages.
• Countless repairs and improvements were made to the Jacob’s Well facility, often by Jack, Robert, Konrad and Jeremy. (The work ranged from tractor repair to welding.)
• The entire local community saw countless examples of Christian fellowship that transcends race and culture, ranging from united work to replace one family’s roof to Haitian and American camp counselors serving together.
May God bless this team as they now travel home together – Dan.
Haiti 10 Team