Rainy Season & a Rooftop Praise.
Rainy season has kicked up around here and so have the problems we've heard of from friends who live in homes where they don't necessarily have the best structure. As the rains fall hard during the night, we at Konbit have a harder time falling asleep because our thoughts and prayers are with our Haitian brothers and sisters. We know they are scrambling to pick up what belongings they have and put them on blocks (if they have them) under the pieces of tin that don't have holes...or the pieces of tin with the fewest number of holes. We know they won't sleep in their beds (if they have those too) because it is more than likely soaking wet. We know all clothes are getting wet and muddy. That usually includes school uniforms and when a school uniform is wet, there is no way that student will get to school the next day. We know they're fighting the mud sliding down the mountainside into their homes at a rate they can't keep up with. We know they're trying to make sure their animals don't get taken away by that same mud. We know that after the (more often than not, unsuccessful) fight with catching rain and trying to stop the mud, most people will retire the efforts and try to sleep in a chair. Upright. In the middle of mud. In their house. And usually holding their kid(s) so at least they can hopefully sleep.
It's a catch 22 in Haiti when it comes to rain. We know there are people praying for rain to come so they can plant their gardens. There are prayers for rain to come to water and help their gardens grow. There have been more prayers in light of the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew that swept through and destroyed the gardens and livelihoods of many people so that they can get back to planting and gardening. We know there are prayers for rain to come when community and family cisterns in the mountains are empty and their only source of water comes from the heavens.
There are prayers for rain in the dry seasons.
But there are also prayers for the rain to stop during rainy season.
We know there are many prayers for the rains to let up and/or cease before they get too bad and destroy homes and the gardens they've planted. There are prayers for the rains to not fall too hard for too long because the longer they fall, the more mud they'll fight. There are prayers for rain to cease so their child can go to school the next day. There are prayers for rain to stop so they don't have to spend the next day trying to clean up their home. Cleaning their house usually includes putting all clothes out on the line (if they have one) and laying their mattress out in the sun along with everything else that got wet. When they spend a day cleaning up the aftermath, they usually lose a days wage and opportunity to go sell whatever they have to earn some money to provide dinner for that night. There are prayers for the rain would stop after the needed amount has fallen for their crops because too much rain will ruin what they've planted and all will come to nought.
The rain pendulum goes from one extreme to the other and it rarely finds a balance here.
But Haitians are the most resilient people we know and they wake up the next morning and get busy doing what they've got to do to move on. During rainy season, as they are cleaning up, they know there is the reality that they will probably have to do the same thing the very next morning but nevertheless, they soldier on.
But allow us to introduce you to one of those soldiers we love:
One day while Jessie was out visiting our friends in the community, Marie came to her and asked if she'd come to her house. She agreed and shortly after Jessie found herself inside Marie's house for the first time. Marie didn't say much but just motioned for her to look at all the holes in the roof.
She then shared what we hear from most Haitians after a rainy night:
She can't sleep.
Her house gets flooded.
Everything gets ruined.
Over and over and over again.
Jessie snapped a few pictures and said she'd share them with Kris and the rest of Konbit and see if there would anything we could do. In the meantime, Marie said she'd be praying.
After talking it over and agreeing that Marie was the kind of person and this was the opportunity Konbit desires to help with, we decided to post on our Facebook page and ask if there was anyone who would be willing to sponsor a new roof for Marie. Within the hour we received a message from a dear ministry friend of ours who said they wanted to sponsor her roof.
A couple days later we loaded up and went back over to Marie's to let her know that God had stirred the hearts of a few people and by God's grace, she would be getting a new roof. Before we broke the news, she told us that she had been praying and had went to church and prayed the night before for God to send someone to help. As you can imagine, it was extra cool to be the vessel that delivered the news that her prayers were heard and answered. After we told her, Kris took measurements and got to figuring out a supply list and everything that would be needed for the job.
We then found a couple guys from our community who knew how to do roofs and were looking for a job, to head up the roof project. A couple days later we set to work re-roofing Marie's house. While there were a few obstacles to overcome at the beginning, six hours and a lot of sweat later, Marie had a new, higher quality, more durable, longer lasting roof and she couldn't be any happier.
Before we left that day, we went back to find Marie once the tools were loaded up and found her inside walking through the house thanking God in prayer.
She told us repeatedly,
"God did this. Without God I wouldn't have a good roof over my head."
And to that we said "Amen."
Without God and him stirring the hearts of His people, we wouldn't have had the opportunity to put a roof on Marie's house. So thank you Steve & Pam Frye and Ed & Rhonda Carson for using the blessings you have, to bless others here in Haiti.
We have visited Marie multiple times after heavy rains since the new roof was put on and we are thankful to report that she no longer has to "sleep in the rain." All is dry and all is well.
I think the photo below sums up the amount of joy this brings us all.
This is why we Konbit.