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Where does the road ahead lead? What hope remains? How do I cross a raging river when the bridge is now washed away? These and a thousand other issues face millions of people in Haiti, just a few hundred miles off the coast of Florida. As a father, who deeply loves his own family and who has come to love and adore the family of God at Place of Hope in Haiti, my heart aches and tears flow as I stand helpless, until others come alongside and pick up the burden with me. A lady gave me a $20 bill to help and said she was sorry it wasn’t more. I replied, “It may be only a drop in the bucket compared to the vast need, but enough drops will soon fill a bucket to overflowing.”
Our 300 seat church has lost portions of its roof. The roof must be replaced to prevent further interior damage and enable us to continue our worship center efforts. This critical replacement will cost approximately $5,000.
At Place of Hope in Haiti Orphanage, there is much destruction, but this is nothing compared to the wrath Hurricane Matthew wreaked on the hundreds of mountain villages on the western end of the peninsula. With little recourse except to wait it out, nearly a hundred villagers have taken residence along with our 60 children and staff at Place of Hope Orphanage. All homes are blown away, debris scattered over miles of mountain slopes, and almost all of their earthly possessions now erased. We are doing our best with the limited resources we have at the orphanage to make continuing life possible for these families. It isn’t easy, and there are no easy solutions. We desperately need $15,000 to $25,000 to reconstruct our orphanage cabana kitchen and replace a portion of the roof.
We can’t evacuate the children and staff, even if we wanted to. Our goal is not to evacuate, or desert the orphanage, rather it is to remain in place and rebuild – to the tune of nearly $200,000. Our small children are already working long hours helping to clean the church and the orphanage so the facilities can be livable until repairs are made. We DESPERATELY need a permanent concrete roof for our orphanage and for the kitchen. It needs to be a roof that will withstand any future major hurricanes, and give us warranted security.
Our goals are NOT solely about rebuilding Place of Hope, but to bring hope to the nearby villagers by assisting them to rebuild their homes where generations once lived, to assist them in burial of their loved ones, and to bring in supplies of needed food and necessities. I feel certain we could spend $300,000 just on this one part of the goal, which will involve some major assistance from builders and companies in Southwest Florida whose hearts have been touched by the devastation in Haiti because of Hurricane Matthew.
I have lain awake at nights thinking and praying for ways to make contact with the building trade union. I would like to ask them to open their hearts and send teams of masonry workers and builders to help us reconstruct the village homes surrounding Place of Hope. They could make the trip to Les Cayes to help rebuild homes, and return to their families knowing they made a difference. A simple home could be constructed for about $3,000, but to a Haitian family, it would be comparable to a mansion. Many still have the foundations of their homes, which makes it seem possible to rebuild on those same foundations.
In Haiti, people walk for miles to fill large containers to fill with fresh well water. We can drill a well for about $6,000 to bring better health
to remote villages in the mountains around Les Cayes. I have advanced $6,000 to this fund, borrowing it from my savings. This fund has been enhanced by over $5,000 that people have given to replenish my initial advance of money. For every well we drill, we can save approximately five thousand lives this next year from the water crisis in Haiti.
Nehemiah is an exciting and inspiring book about this man, Nehemiah, and the work of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah was a contemporary of Ezra and a cupbearer to the king in the Persian palace. He led the third and last return of
Jewish captives back to Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile. His faith in God and his love for his people is impressive- in spite of hardship and opposition. There was opposition from outside and discouragement from inside, yet the task of rebuilding was
complete in only fifty-two days. Just imagine what you and I could do together! A small team of builders, maybe just six or eight people, could reconstruct a home in just a few days’ time. With enough of us, we could rebuild an entire village together!
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