Today we started off the morning with devotions with Justin leading us in a few worship songs. Dean led the devotions and prayer time to get us ready to start the day.
After a great breakfast we headed to Fayeton and got organized into two teams, Team A led by Justin and Team One led by Gary. We were waiting on some supplies, conduit, wood for making a ladder and the solar mounting racks which were still in the container at customs at the Port of Gonaives.
Today is a holiday in Haiti as was the whole weekend so the port was officially closed but Pastor Dony was able to get in to retrieve our supplies. The container was packed with school furniture for Fayeton donated by Westminster Christian in Miami who graciously shared their container to allow us to ship the solar equipment and supplies to Haiti. Unfortunately some of our supplies were packed at the other end of the container (away from the door) and the port officials would not let us offload the furniture to get to it. Pastor Dony had two helpers that were able to crawl through the furniture and get to our supplies so we had them in the afternoon, Praise God!
The two teams were able to accomplish a lot today, wiring the solar equipment room and the girls’ dorm and even we even got the solar panels partially mounted on the roof. We are ahead of schedule!
Susan and Toni worked with the children (off school today because of the holiday) having the kids put their hand prints on a large mural prepared by Linda Fox of SRC. The kids had a great time putting paint on their hands and making prints and signing their name under each print. In the afternoon, Greg took them outside to play with some playground balls.
We worked until dark, attaching the last rack of solar panels by flashlight and then went back to the hotel where we ate and went to bed early.
We were very tired but feeling good about what we had accomplished on the first day of work.
This morning the team got up and had a good breakfast with our choice of egs, oatmeal or spaghetti with fresh fruit.
After breakfast we went to the Fayeton campus to join in worship at the church planted by Pastor Sidney Woodman in partnership with SRC in 2008. We started off with a great time of worship with several groups from children to adults doing special music. You could truly feel the presence of The Lord as they worshipped with great joy!
Pastor Woodman spoke first and then Pastor Dony delivered a sermon from I Thessalonians, translating the key points of his message into English for the American visitors.
The team sat in amongst the children from the orphanage who introduced themselves, practicing their English. We are looking forward to spending more time with them throughout the week.
After the service we went back to the hotel to change and have some lunch. The choices were chicken, fish or goat with veggies, rice and plantains. It seems that the lunch menu is exactly the same as the dinner menu.
We went back to the Fayeton campus with our 27 bags of luggage and started unpacking and organizing our supplies for the week.
We discovered that all of our solar equipment made it there safely, having been delivered just the day before due to a several week shutdown of the Port of Gonaives (God’s perfect timing!) There were however, some larger pieces that were left in the container back at the port. No worries, we will pick them up Monday morning.
We did some sprucing up in the clinic building and organized all the medical supplies that were purchased with the generous donations of the SRC community.
We did a walk-through of the solar building, dormitories and Pastor’s residence where we will be working and even did some wiring before we went back to the hotel for dinner (see menu above).
The team gathered at the church and packed up our bags on Saturday morning to go to the airport. Thanks to Clark Kaplan, Rich Porter, Ray Negron and Bill Belcher for volunteering to take us (the Thursday evening men’s group was well represented). Greg and Susan met us there after suffering a flat tire on I-95 but Greg and his neighbor performed like a NASCAR pit crew and changed the tire long before the roadside assistance could arrive.
Dou Dou makes things happen!
We checked in our 25 fifty pound bags of clothing, tools and supplies and Praise God, were charged no luggage fees, with the help of Greg who is an American Airlines pilot and Paul who is Sapphire Club frequent flyer. We had to make some last minute adjustments to make sure our bags were under the weight limit but we made it through. The toughest part of the journey is over.
We arrived safely in Port au Prince at about 3:30pm where Randy Seers was waiting for us having arrived a half an hour earlier from Atlanta (Randy is from Blue Ridge, GA) with his two checked bags. We were met by DouDou from El Shaddai Ministries who escorted us through customs and took us to an awaiting bus. When DouDou saw how much luggage we had he quickly arranged for a second bus to carry it all. DouDou makes things happen!
We drove north about three hours to our hotel in Gonaives where Pastor Dony St. Germain was waiting for us. We settled in and ate a great meal in the hotel restaurant with our choice of chicken, fish or goat with rice, cooked veggies and plantains. It was a great start to our week in Gonaives.
Left to Right: Greg Knapp, Susan Knapp, Paul Carnrick, Gary Threewits, Dean Ferrie, Ed O’Brien, Craig Kindell, Tom Turner, Sjaak van Dam Not Shown: Justin Adames
Randy Seers, Blue Ridge, GA
Toni James, Fernandina Beach, FL
The Fayeton orphanage campus in Gonaives, Haiti is home to 100 orphans and has never had power in its seven year existence. A mission team of twelve from Spanish River is planning to change that.
Solar power equipment, purchased with funds raised at the 2013 Ride 4 Orphans charity bike ride was shipped to Gonaives and will be installed by the team the week of November 2-9.
In May a solar workshop was held at SRC where team members were trained on the installation and maintenance of the equipment. Design of the system and training was provided by Allen Rainey and Terri MacGregor of Sonlight Power, Inc, a Christian non-profit providing solar power as a ministry in developing countries.
The Fayeton campus is the site of a church planted by Pastor Sidney Woodman supported by Spanish River in partnership with El Shaddai Ministries, International. Spanish River has partnered with ESMI, let by Pastor Dony St. Germain, to plant over thirty churches throughout Haiti. The Fayeton campus also has a school and clinic.
Installing the solar power system and wiring for the two children’s dormitories and Pastor Woodman’s residence.
Conducting a vacation Bible school for the children of Fayeton including games, crafts, face painting and taking photos of each child
Distributing individual clothing outfits prepared for each child by the Lord’s Closet team with clothing donated by the SRC community
Providing basic medical care for the children and staff at Fayeton
Worship with Pastor Woodman and members of the Fayeton church
Sharing the bad new and good news of the Gospel at every opportunity
Spanish River Missions are unique in that we only conduct these types of relief and support efforts to support our church planters in the field. SRC has supported more than 400 church plants in over 20 countries.
The Lord’s Closet team has been busy sorting the clothing donated by members of SRC and students from Spanish River Christian School into individual outfits for each child at the Fayeton orphanage in Haiti. The outfits include a shirt and shorts or skirt, socks, underwear and shoes arranged by size. The clothing will be distributed by the mission team at Fayeton along with Creole Bibles and other small gifts for the children.