Thursday, January 26, 2006

Drive Time

The roof is half covered in tin, no thanks to me. I spent Thursday driving again, for a total of about five hours in the truck. I visited CAM (Christian Aid Ministries) about 45 minutes away to check on the status of our container being shipped here (They assist Lifeline with a large container shipment once a year). We were pleased to find out that our shipment is in the country, but it's stuck in customs at the present. Nothing that more money won't fix eventually. They have held it there to examine the contents, and then charge extra money while it sits there so they can examine it. We made a little progress, though, and the container should be out here next week. That's good news, since all of our personal furniture and most of the families summer clothes are on it. I was starting to worry that our kids would have to start out living like the village children - nude.

The other time driving was spent going town to town trying to find a few items, 2x4 lumber being the most important, ice cream probably the least. We did find the lumber, and when you ask a Haitian for a 2x4, it is 2" by 4", rough cut. That was a surprise when we were expecting regular boards and they brought out what looked like whole trees. But it was a success to find somewhere only 30 minutes away with a somewhat decent supply of lumber. We struck out on the ice cream, which was a disappointment to our hard-working guests. All day we stopped in markets in each town we went through and inquired about "creme", and the kindly shopkeepers would point us to the next town, assuring us that we would find our treasure there. I gave up in the fifth or sixth place, I lost count. In the end, I think we could have driven all the way to Port-Au-Prince for everything we needed and back in less time.

The founder of Lifeline Mission, Arnold Lemke, is here this week and he accompanied me on the drive. It was nice to spend time talking with him and hearing the countless stories of God's provision and blessings on this work in Haiti. It was a real encouragement, and the amazing things that have happened here over the years show God's perfect timing and compassion for the poor.

Today we'll hopefully accomplish these things - finish the roof (all but the gable ends), fix the fenceline where the goats are getting in, check the water level in the batteries that give us power when the generator is off, find the generator owner's manual (it's acting up), move shelves and organize the warehouse to make room for the new container-load, and get more butter.

If today is anything like yesterday, I'll be lucky to just get the butter.