Our first team meeting was the first time most of the guys had ever met. Everyone came with their own ideas, concerns, history, challenges, and apprehensions. Since most of the men had never been to Haiti, they wanted to get some basic information on what to expect. Questions needed to be answered: “Would there be a hardware store nearby?” “Who would deliver the cement?” “Would there be power?” “What if it rains all week?” All legitimate questions anyone beginning a construction project would ask. There would be no hardware store to run to in an emergency, we would have to bring our own tools, mix the mortar on site, use a small generator for power, and work in 90 degree heat. I thought a couple of guys might bail after finding this out, but they seemed to be intrigued by the challenge and were willing to give their best efforts.
Two weeks later we flew to Port O Prince, Haiti then drove arriving at our destination late Saturday night. Sunday we went to church and worshipped with our sister church. We took pictures of the school Freshwater built, and shook hands with a lot of new Haitian friends and retired to bed early. Monday morning we arrived on the job site just as the sun was coming up to get a grip on what needed to be done. Local masons had poured the foundation and built the walls four feet high. This was a welcome site and one we did not expect! After coming up with an initial plan of attack, we prayed that God would make our time fruitful, but none of us really knew how fruitful we would actually be. Within an hour each team member was performing a task that contributed to the goal. One man was cutting wood, another hauling block, another made cement mix (called mud). We were like a well-oiled machine. Day after day we worked in intense heat, with limited supplies, and a huge language barrier. By the end of the week the walls were up, the roof was on, and we were exhausted. Looking back, it is hard to believe we accomplished so much with so little so fast. And once the work was done, we decided to relax at the beach for the last half of the last day.
While at the beach we had one last huddle to share our experiences from the week. One person shared how God met them in a profound way that week, another talked about the joy of serving the poorest of the poor. A third person confessed to learning to trust God with all the details. Ultimately we paused long enough to celebrate the win. We had done what seemed like an impossible task, we put walls up, built trusses to support the roof, and finished it with tin. What began as a pile of blocks had turned into a two room medical clinic. Now all the local Haitian workers had to do was install the doors, windows, and spackle the inside. This was a big win for us, for Freshwater, and ultimately for the thousands of people this clinic will serve.
It has only been a couple of days since we returned, but this team and our efforts for God’s glory will never fade away. I was challenged and encouraged by every person on the team. What began as a random group of men who dreamed that God could use them in a big way turned into a band of brothers who accomplished the dream God set before them. They believed that God could and would use them in a profound way if they were willing, and He did! In just a couple of months the Haitian workers will have the building finished and ready for use. Lives will be saved and the Gospel will be shared. All because 10 men caught the dream and chased it.
I want to encourage you to dream about how God can use you. If you have the desire but lack clarity, ask God to make His plans clear to you. He will because he has equipped you to serve Him in order to advance His kingdom. When you get that clear God-sized dream the next step is to go for it. Never underestimate what God can do through you.