” For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12
If I have learned nothing else after over twenty years of working in Haiti I believe that whatever project you went to do will not happen, at least not as you had planned. I also have learned that “I” can’t but “He” can. “Do not be afraid or discouraged …… For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chron. 20:15
Our group started out with great plans and aspirations. Our friends from Tacoma who had built the incinerator shed two years ago were moved by the spirit to purchase the incinerator and come to Haiti to install it. Seven people formed a team and came to do that. Our arrival date was to be October 10.
The Evil One hates to see good people work for the Master and he goes right to work to try to thwart the plans we have for accomplishing God’s Will. The incinerator was scheduled to be on the dock in Port-au-Prince by October 2. Due to the hurricanes, the ship was rerouted and the date of arrival was postponed until October 18 – two days before we were to leave Haiti for home. Much prayer was raised and the ship came in from England on October 11. Still, there was the matter of customs charges, the bureaucracy of getting the item off the dock, the transportation of same to Jolivert, the inconvenience of a Haitian Holiday and intervening weekend preventing any action and our truck driver being too late to get on the dock one day. All of this required Blaud, our Haitian Executive Director, to remain in PAP for eight days with all the inherent unplanned costs.
While we worried and fidgeted in Jolivert the west coast team went right to work, helping Ralph Porter build shelves and cabinets for the dental clinic, assisting in the sorting and storage of materials that had been shipped in, helping out in the clinics, and doing anything that was needed to be done. One of the best children’s programs ever was put on, our evangelist preached in Sunday services and appeared on the church’s radio station several times, an outreach clinic was held for the first time as a medical/dental operation with 105 patients seen by our team doctors and nurses and 23 dental patients treated.
Additionally, Jonah, a thirteen-year-old boy who was there with his parents spontaneously crossed the language barrier and had the little children clapping, marching, running and learning “Duck, Duck, Goose”. This was a real ministry. Our Ophthalmology surgeon, in the meantime, screened patients and did 33 surgeries (22 cataract removals, seven removals of overgrown tissue and removal of a corneal foreign body that had been neglected for months). A number of other patients were cared for in the clinics by our visiting doctors and our visiting Haitian dentists.
Our Ophthalmology surgeon, in the meantime, screened patients and did 33 surgeries (22 cataract removals, seven removals of overgrown tissue and removal of a corneal foreign body that had been neglected for months). A number of other patients were cared for in the clinics by our visiting doctors and our visiting Haitian dentists.
We also began a renovation of the hill road and re-ditching for erosion prevention that was desperately needed. It was a large group – about 25 people at meals and our Haitian staff handled food, laundry, and transportation very well.
The Haitian government charged us the unconscionable amount of one-third the cost of the incinerator to get it off the dock but God enabled us to gather the funds and on the last day of work before departure the instrument arrived – as the shades of night were falling. Now that gripping question – how do we get 1200 pounds of machine off the truck and into the incinerator building without a forklift or crane? This is Haiti and God’s project! Boss Wilson, our longtime builder, mobilized his workers as has been done so often before. With the guidance of our team members, the brute strength of the Haitians inventive engineering and the Grace of God, it was moved off the truck, into the housing and now awaits another team trip to finish the task. In spite of the setback of completion, when you look at the overall trip, Satan lost and God won (AGAIN).