Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for Christians everywhere, I have never stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future he has promised to those he called. I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance he has given to his people.
- Ephesians 1:15-18
Greetings in Christ Jesus
We hope your celebration of Easter helped you to reflect on the amazing sacrifice the Creator of heaven and earth made for us as He came down and freely suffered in our place, died in our place, and rose to give us assurance of life eternal. Jesus said that a true friend will lay his life down for another (Jn 15:13). These, of course, were not empty words from Him. He laid His life down voluntarily. Even as He was being led away to what He knew would be His humiliation, torture, and execution, He had the option to ask the Father who would instantly send thousands of angels to rescue Him (Matt 26:53). He freely chose to drink the cup of suffering that the Father gave Him (Jn 18:11), the very cup that He agonized over moments earlier (Luke 22:41-44). How can we but trust, worship, & serve our righteous God?
Water, Struggles, Cisterns & Bibles
We have written many times of the daily struggle related to meager water availability here in Bombardopolis. It is a struggle for all but falls disproportionately to women, young and old, and to children. We have good news. Though the struggle persists, we can see progress. There is an organization that has been drilling centrally located, foot pump operated wells. This greatly increases the availability of potable water, it still has to be carried but in most cases it lessens the distance. That is good news.
We have been able to make some progress as well. In March we finished a project that involved the construction of 56 cisterns. As a reminder, the cisterns we build are designed and built for families. We have a 4-man crew who takes responsibility for all the day-to-day construction. We also require a significant amount of investment from the recipient families. It costs us $600 US for our part of the construction, the family receiving the cistern has a (relatively) small financial and a (very) large labor investment.
Mixing and moving concrete
To give an idea of the impact this project has, here are some figures:
- Each cistern holds approximately 1400 gallons of water (189 cubic feet X 7.48)
- The average house we build a cistern at is 19 feet wide and 30(ish) feet long = 570 square feet.
- The cistern is 47.25 square feet inside, meaning that every inch of rain on the roof puts a foot of water in the cistern (570/47.25=12); 4 inches equals a full cistern or 1400 gallons.
- Based on a conservative estimate of 12-inch annual rainfall, each cistern will yield 4200 gallons.
- Multiply that times the 56 cisterns we built since October and you get 235,200 gallons.
- We have built 384 cisterns since we began in 2001, which represents 1,604,400 gallons of safe water in folk's yards annually.
That's a lot. That changes family's lives.
Sisters who live at one of the houses that got a cistern. The little girl in yellow is ready for school.
Here's the best part. After the family's cistern is completed, one of our men, Asillio, goes back to them and presents them with a Holy Bible, in Creole. He shares the plan of salvation as he feels led. Always as he presents each family with a Bible, he tells them that they received a (rainwater) cistern that will help quench their physical thirst, there will be times during prolonged dry periods that the (rainwater) cistern may go dry. In contrast, by receiving a Bible, they are getting access to the Source of spiritual refreshment that will always be there when they come to drink (Jn 4:13&14). Asillio thought of that, we love that guy.
So, it is indeed good news that progress is being made and the progress allows us to share the Good News with some of the poorest folks on the planet. We hope to build a similar amount of cisterns in coming months. We hope you get a vision to partner with us, it truly does change family's lives. $600 completes a cistern, any amount helps. It is hard, gratifying work. To God be all the glory for allowing us to be a part of His plan.
One of my favorite activities that I get to do around the hospital is spending time with as many children as possible. I play with children that are waiting to see the doctor, or I go and visit with the kids in the pediatric room. For the past couple of weeks I have been going in and visiting with a little 4-year-old girl that was severely burned. She is unable to do much more than lay down or sit and she is in constant pain. One day she was out sitting in the sun and I went to her to see how she was doing, she asked me if I liked to sing songs about Jesus. I explained to her how much I enjoy singing songs about Jesus and asked her if she would like me to sing with her right now. We were sitting out in the middle of the hospital yard singing a song about Jesus as if we were the only two people there, she was singing at the top of her voice. It was so precious to me!! Then, this past week I had the opportunity to take a coloring book and crayons down to her and allow her to color for as long as she wanted too. She colored until she decided she was having too much pain to continue. I am thankful for her and the time I have been allowed to spend with her.
Many thanks for your prayers and support. We are glad to be on the same team. Please pray for the hospital — staff & patients; for the showing of The Hope — for the people viewing and us; for rain — it is dry and time for folks to plant; and for a new Bible study starting this month based on The Hope — it is very in depth and offers a good chance for growth in the folks attending.
In Christ's glad service,
Steve, Faith, Betsy, Sharon & Dan
Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. - John 4:13&14
Wait, there's more
We will be showing Lespwa (The Hope) in a large church in Krev on Sunday April 7. After this, we hope to return to showing it in area churches every two weeks. Please pray that folks hearts and minds will be touched and drawn toward Jesus. Pray that folks that do not know Him will come to know Him and that folks that already know Him will be drawn closer, into a more serious and committed walk with Him.
On Saturday April 20, we begin an in-depth study of the Bible using The Hope curriculum. We have 13 folks signed up, and plan to meet one Saturday per month for a year. This will be led by Asillio. This is a great study, made available in French by the folks at Mars Hill Productions. Please join us in praying that this study draws these folks into a closer, more mature understanding and relationship with God and that they can in turn impact others because of this.
Asillio is a hard working man of integrity, respected in the community.
(I am going to get a picture of Asillio in something other than work clothes when I get a chance.)
Items recently posted or that you might have missed:
Food Depot Roof & Expansion (2 April 2013)
There was a small part of the food depot (storage building) that needed to have the roof replaced . . .
World Water Day (March 22) (23 March 2013)
So I am not sure who decided to make March 22 World Water Day but if it helps bring awareness to . . .
Additional photos of cistern building
Leona, one of the crew, cleaning out the mortar box. All the concrete for the cistern project is mixed in this mortar box. It takes 18-20 batches for each cistern.
Loading up the forms and tools. The truck is packed to overflowing with everything in (and on) it. When we go to an area to build several cisterns, we drop them off with the truck at one end of the project and pick them up at the other end. The folks carry them from house to house.
An atypical construction of a cistern. We need more water capacity related to The Food Tree Project so we constructed two on mission grounds that will catch overflow from two larger cisterns
Please visit the website at haitihospital.org during this month for updates.
Please do not respond directly to this email, as it goes to an email address that is not monitored. If you would like to contact someone at IMF, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to our website at www.haitihospital.org. Thanks!