- Written by Tom Miles Tom Miles
- Created: June 14 2012 June 14 2012
A New Location
Today we took the long trek to Heartline’s newest location, which they call the “OK Corral.” They've built dorms and a school around what was an American-style, cowboy-themed restaurant. The outdoor seating featured wagon wheels and cowboy boots hanging from the rafters. It was one of John’s favorite places when it was open, but then he appreciated the wildly inconsistent food quality. Apparently not many people who were seeking an American-style restaurant in Haiti had similar tastes, and the owner asked John if Heartline would buy his property.
One of the next things that Heartline will be doing with the property will be setting up a bakery as skill training for men—their first men’s ministry. A number of our volunteers spent the day cleaning and varnishing (not painting, our Heartline hosts were quick to note, but the distinction was largely lost on us volunteers) this new building.
The back part of the OK Corral features a hodge-podge of “wildlife.” Goats roamed freely in the field, chickens and roosters darted through the bushes and there were lizards everywhere. Big ones, compared to the tiny little guys around the guesthouse.
A few of us were able to enjoy the company of the goats and feed them a bit of grass, which was a bit awkward come lunch ...
A delicious traditional Haitian meal today. Beans and rice topped with a spicy goat stew. The sides were a pepper salad (it looks like coleslaw, but is spicy) and fried balls of dough (“grease balls”).
Haitians, and, by extension, Heartline, are extremely frugal. They hang on to anything that has even a prayer of ever working again. So a small group of people spent the day sorting yet another dusty facility. Literally bit-by-bit.
Thanks to their work, by the end of the day we were using power tools, air compressors—all these great things that Heartline had forgotten they even had. To next week's group: you’re welcome!
After lunch, Nikolai went back to a project he and Don had been working on in the bakery, trying to figure out the wiring that the last group here had installed. He didn't realize, however, that Don had switched the power on as they headed to the dining area. He got a shock when he started grabbing wires to continue the project.
Adam worked all day, installing new lights in a large shed and walking Haitian native Moise through the basics of electrical work. When they had finished, they tested the lights and found they did not work. As everyone else, including Moise, headed back to the guest house, Adam stayed at the OK to sort out the problem. Turned out the trouble was a faulty switch that they had never touched.
A cute coda: when Adam got back, he was eager to have someone give Moise a call right away to let him know that the problem wasn’t Moise's fault.
“Hesed” is a Hebrew word that means “kindness”, “mercy”, “loyalty”, “loving-kindness” or “steadfastness.” It’s the way God intends us to live together—a “love your neighbor as yourself”, active, selfless, sacrificial, caring-for-one-another brand of living contradictory to our fallen natures. The “Heseders” are continually looking to work together to share some small measure of God’s extraordinary love. Won’t you join us?