Early Saturday morning Ralph Schoverlan, Fred Morris, two young fellows, and I left North Myrtle Beach and spent the day traveling down to Rockledge FL. where Good Shepard Ministries was based. We spent the night and at 4:00 a.m. the next day we were leaving Merritt Island, FL heading for Haiti. We arrived safely and as we landed I was shocked to see all of the little huts that the people were living in. We landed at Cap-Haitian International Airport and were surprised that it was just a small concrete block building with a front and rear door and the toilet was a hole in the floor of a small room. We were picked up and taken to the Good ShepardMinistries compound in a little pickup truck. We were told not to eat or drink anything other than what was in the compound kitchen and not to hug any of the little ones because many of them had AIDS.
We were told that all of the lumber that was sent down for our building was still on the ship and all of the workers were on strike and would not unload it. We were told it was best to stay away from the docks but Ralph suggested that we go and try to get our lumber. We arrived at the dock and talked to one of the men and told him that fourteen men came all the way from the U.S. to build a school up in the mountains for the children. This did the trick and the men got together in a huddle like football and came out in a little while and said that they would unload only the lumber, they even put it on the truck that we rented.
Ralph and I created the layout and made a pattern for the roof trusses, cut all the lumber to fit, and loaded it back on the truck for early next morning. We got up at 4:00 a.m. to a very rainy Tuesday morning. We had breakfast and were told that we should wait and see what the rain was going to do. Ralph and I talked and decided that we should at least take the lumber and look over the building site. Shortly after our meal, we drove up the mountain for about two hours; when we arrived the whole village was out in the rain. They gave us a heartfelt welcome. We were only able to get the truck to within about three hundred feet of the building site. We started unloading lumber and every one that was there tried to help us. We had the truck unloaded in just a little while. Fred said that we should go back down the mountain because it looked that it would rain all day. Ralph got us in a circle and said let us all talk to God and see what he would have us to do. We got in a circle and prayed for about fifteen minutes.Just as we started to walk back up the truck, the sun came out and all the people that were watching us let out a big cheer. We went to work and before the day was over we had done much more that we thought we would be able to do the first day. God gave us a good week, we could feel His presence with us all week and everything that we did was much better than we had planned. We finished the job in six days and had an extra day to work around the compound and fix things that were broken.
We were able to go out into the bush and have Bible study and preaching every night. All of this made me be thankful to God for what I had back home. When I returned home I told Hazel that I would never complain again about any food that I had to eat and I never have. I just had witnessed how God could look after people that did not have another meal to eat. I saw one little kid that had a bug in a can and that was his only food for the day. At the compound school, the children would be served one bowl of rice and beans. The children would take half of it home to their mothers or some old folks that did not have anything all day. The children would follow us around and if we would stop and talk to them they would sit and listen to every word even though they could not understand what we were saying.
We took as much money as we could to buy goats for the little boys. If a kid had a little nanny goat it would give them milk every day. We also bought them each a 10 foot piece of rope. The little children would play with their goats every day and it would sleep with then at night. We were able to buy fifty goats and give them to the kids. When we bought the goats we were also helping out the goat farmers.
Those ten days went by too fast. We got back on the little plane that came down for us and headed back to the US. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale, FL to go through customs and when we got there one of our young boys had not brought any identification with him. We thought that we would not be able to get him back into the country but finally we got through customs and flew on to Merritt Island, FL, spent the night in Rockledge, FL, and headed for North Myrtle Beach early the next day. We sure were thankful to get home safely. Listen to me tell about this trip to Haiti.