Day 24 – Tuesday, March 13th
Relentless Scripture: 1Cor 14: 9-11
Relentless Focus: Hai-glish
Relentless Example: “… unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear…”
Tuesdays have traditionally been our road trip north to Cap Haitian (Haiti’s second largest city) to procure needed supplies. However, this time Pastor François and I stayed behind, while Madame François and Missionary Bill hit the road in our behalf. You see, today was the start of the first leg of the Fence Project (hooray! I said, I can’t hear you, HOORAY! Now that’s more like it). Thanks to your generous donations and prayers you have allowed us to continue securing this compound. It is the #1 project priority at this time. We’re starting work on the more critical gaps in the fence line, the northwest 68 ft. section and then the north 213 ft. one. Overall, there are 1100 linear feet of fence line needed to secure the upper part of this compound. And we will build it as the Lord leads and supplies.
The Haitian construction boss man (foreman) arrived early with four other men to begin the removal of cacti and some trees in order to construct a ditch for laying the foundation. And so they started. There were no power tools used … just good old manual hard work producing sweat and hopefully no blood or tears. These young men in their late teens or early twenties were just checking me out and smiling with their pretty white teeth (by the way, when Haitians take care of their teeth, there are no prettier or brighter smiles on this planet). So I watched and listened to them speak Haitian Creole as they worked, hoping I would be able to pick up a word or two. Pastor then began speaking in English to me about the erosion problems that occur during the rainy season. One of them then asked me where I was from, in English. And of course, I responded back in Hai-glish, saying Valcoris, Orgonre, which is now the new official language of Haiti. Come on … you have to cut me a little slack here, all I really wanted to do was to see him smile with those pearly whites, and he did. Somebody had to break the ice … it was already 80 degrees.
You see, Hai-glish is when you really can’t communicate effectively in Haitian or English. It’s a middle ground mediocrity where I spend most of my language time. The more I learn Haitian Creole, the worse my English becomes (all the words in the last part of a sentence somehow sneak up in front, and my conjunctive verbs get lost in space somewhere between my A-E-I-O-U’s and my Y’s and W’s). But I am relentlessly trying.
*(Denny here, the following pictures are from Mark of the progress on the fence. They are hoping to have the foundation laid by the time Kevin, Tim and I get there next week, so we can help lay the cinder blocks to build the fence. There are many of you who recently donated money and we sent it to Francois and the photos below are a direct result of your giving. This project literally would not have been started without your help. Please remember that your money not only is providing them with a fence, but also, supplying the local economy with a boost of jobs and purchasing. I cannot express how grateful Francois, the kids, and we are for your continual support. Here is the fruit of your giving, THANK YOU!)*
(Rocks for foundation of wall) (Foundation Rocks) (Kids loved helping)
(Clearing the cacti) (Leveling the ground) (Chopping down tree)
It’s been a wonderful day regardless of my language challenges. I even helped the workers with a task or two before the day ended. They just smiled as I used the most effective tool at my disposal … my camera. They loved seeing themselves on the screen, because even in my Hai-glish language, a picture is still worth a 1000 words.
(Helping with the frame) (Excited about the future fence) (Rock foundation with cinder block fence)
Tangible Need: To fence in the entire 1100 linear feet
Pray for Loving Haiti: Dental Hygiene – They have the prettiest smiles in the world
Pray for Me: Movement out of Hai-glish into Haitian Creole.