We arrived back from meetings and family time in the states at the beginning of May. It had been raining. Since Haiti has been in a drought for 4 years, we knew rain was needed, but we were not excited about what we may find in our house. We found water and mold damage.
Like many people here, we built our house in stages. When we got married 4.5 years ago, we had a kitchen/dining room, bedroom, bathroom, and a very small area we called our living room. When Bityah was born, we added a two story, 2 room section beside the original house. When Oved was born, we added an additional upstairs bedroom and beautiful living area--which is my current favorite room because it stays cooler than the rest of the house.
|Left/lower is the original house, right/front is the first addition, right/back is the second addition.|
But, there was a problem. Since the original house was one story and the added on sections were two story, there were two separate roofs that came together in the middle. This is a really big problem when it rains. The two sections were not sealed well, so water would run down the wall in the center of our house. With all the rain that has been coming down these past months, this became an even bigger problem that really needed to be fixed.
We decided that this problem needed to be fixed right away, but--with teams coming into the country--this wasn't ideal. A design was made anyways and a foreman was hired to get the masonry work done, so Al could put a new roof on. The construction was going well--even when Almando was in Jacmel leading a trip--until last Thursday when it rained.
To get to a certain point in the construction, the workers had to remove the roof of our original one story house (side note: the roof on the newer side of the house stayed on). They left the plywood ceiling. That doesn't hold much water. No one anticipated that much rain to fall, but it did. And it fell inside. I was so grateful to Almando's family. They spent hours trying to get that section of the house dry. Filling bucket after bucket and dumping it outside. Still the rain fell. When they left that night, they knew--and I knew--that they would have to come back in the morning to get all the water out.
It rained a lot that night and the forecast called for rain all weekend. My heart sank as I thought about it. All weekend with rain? With no roof? What were we going to do?
In the last year, I have gotten connected with the expat and missionary community in this area on Facebook. We have a group page to share resources and network. Friday morning, as Al was looking at a pile of 2X4s and tin, I asked him if he would like me to put out a message for help. He said yes. Within minutes of posting on the missionary page and our staff page, I received a response that left me in tears.
9 people showed up that day--some missionaries, some of their contacts, and some of our staff. Because they knew we needed a roof. A project that would have worn Almando out had he attempted to do it without others became a project that would be completed by a community of friends and family that we have surrounding us. The roof took 2 days to complete. And it continues to rain. But, now, we have a roof. Yes, there is much work still going on in the house to get everything back to normal, but we have a roof.
I don't have words to thank my family, friends, and co-laborers for the Gospel who prayed and/or came to help with this massive project. God has blessed us with a wonderful and growing community to call upon in times of need down here. He brought them into our lives and we are so grateful! Praising God for a roof that doesn't leak today!