Monday, April 15, 2013

let's build a house

For the past 4 years, I have been involved in trips to La Source, Haiti. On my first trip my senior year of high school, I fell in love with a 3 year old boy named Pootchy. This kid melted my heart with his dance moves and cheesy smile. We spent that first week together, and I knew that I would be back to see him again. For the next 3 years, I skipped a week of college classes every April and joined the team from Augusta Christian in La Source again for a week of medical clinics and relational ministry. I always brought Pootchy a few toys and some clothes, and started to bring his sisters a dress or two as well. Two years ago, his mom asked me to be his godmother. She said, “I see how you care for him, and I see the bond that the 2 of you have. I know that you cannot take him to America with you, but I want you to pray for him, and please continue to bless him.” I can say, that as this boy’s godmother, his family has in turn blessed me and my family more than they know. 

right when I became Pootchy's godmother:

Pootchy lives with his mom and 2 sisters. He has 5 other older siblings who have moved to other cities to find work. Pootchy’s mom works odd jobs in order to feed her family. For the past few years, she has helped cook the mission teams' meals and washed our clothes in camp. I have come to love not only Pootchy, but his mom and sisters as well. This past January, our families got to meet through a mission trip with Life Ministries International and some college kids from Georgia Southern. My family sponsors him for school each month, which means that he gets a full meal every day at school, and all of his books and uniforms are paid for. I am so thankful for our families’ friendships. Right when I get off the boat, I know that I will be greeted by a sweet boy calling “LaLa!” Through notes and conversation, both families know that we pray for each other and can encourage each other, even from 1,000 miles away. 

Pootchy in his school uniform:

I recently became aware of a huge need for this family. Their house has a concrete foundation, but the walls are made out of wood and the roof is made out of palm branches. When I called a friend in La Source a month ago to ask how Pootchy’s family was, he told me that none of the family is sleeping well.  When it rains, the water leaks through the roof. I know that even living in a different city than he is, it rains hard here many nights. It breaks my heart to know that if it’s raining outside my window here, his family could be awake all night getting soaked in the storm, both through the walls and through the roof. Since I am living in Haiti this semester, I was able to join this year’s April team to La Source. I met with my friend Josh and a contractor to discuss the cost of rebuilding the house. The entire project will cost about $1,500. This will employ the head construction manager and a few other Haitian workers for a week to build this house with concrete walls and a tin roof. When I met with Pootchy’s mom, Roselene, I told her that I did not have $1,000, but that I know that God will provide this money, because he has provided the money for her family to live, and has also provided the funds every year for me to be able to minister in La Source. I told her that her job was to take care of her family, and to start collecting large rocks. The builders will use these rocks as the walls, and will pour concrete around them to build the walls. I told Roselene that I trust that God will provide this $1,000, because there are many, many families and individuals in the States praying for her and her family. She told me how thankful she is for her brothers and sisters all over the world who pray for her.

surveying the house for an estimate:

how the walls and roof connect:

this is the neighbor's house- similar materials will be used on Pootchy's house:

front door entrance:

My family loves Roselene, Pootchy, and their family. When I give Pootchy a pack of crackers, a plate of food, or a bottle of Coke, he runs to each of his friends to make sure they have enough to eat. He has a servant's heart, and is being taught daily by his mama how to live for Christ and be a blessing to others. Through them we have come to experience God’s love amid cultural, language, and geographic barriers. But we cannot build this house alone. Please pray for this project, that this family would be encouraged and blessed by their brothers and sisters who may not live anywhere near them. If you or someone you know would like to partner with us in this project, please Facebook message me or email me at Donations of $25, $50, or $100 can help make this possible!

"I thank my God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy  because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now" 
Philippians 1:3-5

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