Lessons from the worksite

The construction site of Mercy Hospital was our main ministry focus in Haiti, the place where we spent most of our time. Our team, as well as Haitians, worked as a unified team moving rocks and gravel to build the foundation. This process included shovels and buckets but the intensive manual labor was humbling and created a great atmosphere of fellowship and for God to move among us.

I was sick the first day but God was faithful in answering prayers and providing strength with a quick recovery. The next day at the worksite we worked alongside the Haitians, once again. Even the local children made their way over to the worksite and were willing to help out, taking shovels and buckets from us. Their joy and willingness to work even in the heat was motivating and inspiring. I wasn’t really into the whole “construction” thing going into the trip but by day two on the work site I found it to be fun. To pass the time while working we listened to music, in both English and Creole, spoke with the Haitians learning each other’s languages little by little and frequent breaks to re hydrate and apply more sun screen. The times of fellowship while working were so sweet and many new friendships were formed as a result.

By day two our team, as well as the Haitians, was united in vision and motivation for the project at hand. It happen faster and more beautifully than I could have ever imagined. I slowly began to see the work that God was doing through us and in us as well as the impact it was having on the lives around us. We were all so focused on the mission and encouraging each other along the way. It’s amazing what a little encouragement can do for morale. Some days I woke up less than excited for the day ahead. I knew the discomfort being at the work site would bring; the heat, sweat, and heartbreak upon seeing the poverty that the children came from. Morning devos and singing praises all through breakfast continually helped realign my heart with God’s plan. Thankfully as soon as we started moving rocks or passing buckets this feeling of dread went away. At that point I was then able to have a good time among all of the workers, saying a prayer for each rock being strategically placed in the foundation of the future Mercy Hospital. At times it seemed as if each bucket poured and rock passed or thrown were making no difference but by the end of the day we could see the progress we had made. God used our hands complete part of His plan and although there remains a lot more work to be done on the hospital it is one step closer to being able to serve the community. In the process of merely moving stones interactions with fellow workers we blessed and every moment shown the glory of the Lord in little ways.

On our last day at the work site, Monday, it was rainy and contrary to expectations so many people showed up at the work site regardless and it seemed as we made more progress than ever. All though we were filling in the foundation, rock by rock one at a time, the progress was easily visible. Before leaving the work site we joined hands in the middle of the foundation and prayed over it.

While we were circling up to pray our little friend Johnny found a pen sitting on the foundation and picked it up. He began biting it. We all though he was trying to eat it but that was not the case. He began deconstructing the pen and made a little instrument out of it by blowing over the end of the tube, much like you can do with a bottle. This little exchange of making music out of a pen warmed my heart.

A glimpse of Heaven was beheld there are we thanked God for all he and done and will do through the hospital. Haitians and American alike had learned about the unity and joy that we can have in Christ, the value of team work, respect for each other that crosses cultural and language barriers.

The culmination of these interactions reminds me of Luke 13 when Jesus washes the disciples feet. Jesus is serving those who serve him. Peter wanted to reject this service because He knew that Jesus was greater and deserved to revive this humble act from disciples not the other way around. This is as it was when the kids took the shovels from us. It was easy to think “I came to Haiti to serve you! Let me do this! You are only a child.” But that is the wrong mindset to have. If the children are willing let them come and serve along side! Service is sometimes letting others serve you.

Even on the work site we did have some down time to have fun with each other as well. We played volleyball, danced, and threw around a football. The joy that the children added to the work site were what made it fun and enjoyable. Even though progress was slow it was encouraging knowing what the end result of our small contribution would be, a hospital that will serve the community and share the love of Christ to people that so desperately need His hope.

p.s

at least one more post coming!

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