Members from our church along with a few members from a church in Napoleon Ohio and members from a church in Port au Paix met at the Port au Prince airport. We traveled about 2 hours away to Dubuisson, Haiti to repair a church that had been damaged in the earthquake and hurricanes. This church was built in 1978 by the church I served in Oceanside, New York.
On our work camps we are accustomed to doing all of the hard labor as we rebuild / repair whatever needs to be done. But this time the Haitians that we met up with were skilled masons and they more or less took over the operation. They are wonderful Christian men and our fellowship with them was fantastic! A bonus in this mission trip was their ability to sing. Each night for devotions, they would sing prior to the lesson.
As we looked over the church, they assessed the damage and determined it was necessary to completely replace the floor and to secure some of the cracks in the wall with rebar and concrete. It only took them one day to completely bust up the floor. The Americans helped where we could but they moved so fast and there was a language barrier. The cooperation was excellent. By Friday, the floor and the walls were finished. The latter part of Friday and Saturday, they placed two supports approximately 10 x 10 under the floor where the altar and pulpit are. By the time we left on Sunday, the church was secure. The people were extremely happy but it was on a sad note that we left our friends.
On a personal note, I reconnected with a number of individuals who had been a part of the church when we were there in 1978. One of the ladies that cooked for us was a 16 year old girl back then and she helped us carry sand, gravel and water to the pit to mix mortar. One of the men that helped was about 18 in 1978 and he helped us the whole 3 weeks in 1978-1981 when we were there. He is now the principal of the school and an assistant pastor. It was a wonderful trip. God blessed the work and all of us.