Better than any alarm is being awakened by singing. Really, it’s a great way to start the day, I’ve got to say, even on a Saturday, a day I generally prefer to snooze well past 5:30! Our goal today was visiting a sister congregation in Kenscoff about a 30 minutes drive up, up and further up the mountains. There, we met the young pastor Jean Baptiste and 40 family representatives of his church. After some singing, prayers and an eloquent, poetic welcome, Howard Rich and I shared our story of working together. I offered a brief Bible study and then we gave a demonstration of how the filter works.
Our new friends told us that many walk more than an hour for water. When I asked if anyone has been sick from drinking this water, all said, “ Oui!” “Yes!” Diarrhea, vomiting, headaches, body aches were some complaints. No one reported having had cholera, though that was a major concern for many Haitians immediately following the earthquake of 2010. One of the attached photos is the view from the terrace of Kay D’Esperans (House of Hope), our guest house. You’ll see the white, broken side of the mountain which was sheared off by the earthquake. Many working in the limestone factory were killed, more injured in the mountain communities. All residents of Thomassin lost family members when this happened.
Members of the Kenscoff church were fully engaged in today’s training demo. Pastor Jean Baptiste testified to how healthy his family has been, that he is saving money because he doesn’t need to buy chlorine pills since receiving a filter 3 years ago. He led a moving conversation about the power of investing in being a filter recipient. After some intense conversation, the church members agreed to each contribute 50 gourdes (Haitian currency), the equivalent of about $1.10 for having the filter The money collected will go to a yet-to-be determined church initiative/project. We return Wednesday to review assembly and maintenance of their filters and for the congregation to decide where they want to invest this collection.
After dinner tonight, we’ll assess what worked and what didn’t, what we need to change/revise for working with another congregation. Tomorrow takes us to the Church of God in Christ in Boutilliers for follow-up maintenance and support. But not before the singing begins again in earnest.