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  • Tom Stein

April Trip, Day Five

It's Friday night in Haiti. This little piece of Delmas 33 has some great church music. It's playing all around us. Looking at churches all on our travels over the island has been interesting. There are new churches on the road to Boucantis and Benico and along the highway to Thomonde and Hinche. Almost as many as the new gas stations. Churches with palm frond walls and plastic roofs, churches with high walls and facades, big doors or no doors, colorful red and white sheet metal walls and dirt floors.

Last night, and again this morning, we shared a meal with two gentlemen from Indiana. They came from the Purdue Newman Center Parish to help put cement floors in homes in Titayen, where the New Life Ministries orphanage is located. Where we visited yesterday. You don't think about floors when you go camping. But I always remember my mom telling us to leave our shoes outside our tent and we always had to sweep it out each day of our trips. Yesterday, I reflected on cleaning dirt floors and dirt plazas. The effort and pride in keeping even your dirt looking good. So today we started sweeping the cement here at Matthew 25. Jim's ministry is installing cement floors. That is it. He raises money every year so that he can lay ten, fifteen, maybe twenty floors. Now a floor is a foundation on which we stand. If the foundation is strong the house will stand.

Our neighbor, Fritzner, from whom we bought land in January, surprised me this week when I noticed he had turned his house ninety degrees so as not to infringe on the property line. I told him the day of the survey, even though the property line went through his front porch, we didn't want him do anything. I suggested we purchase a few square meters on the other side of the property, so we could have access to the creek. He agreed, but when the property markers were placed, we already had creek access. He decided to move off his foundation a few meters because he had sold us that piece in good faith. When I asked him why, he simply said, I am good at building foundations, and with help from his neighbors, he lifted the home and turned it to fit nicely inside the cactus fence that separates our properties.

He is truly a man with a very strong foundation not only in cement. We are blessed to have Fritzner as our neighbor. We are blessed to have men like Jim laying foundation around Haiti and truly blessed by those who simple sweep the dirt off the dirt to smooth our path. Thank you Jesus! Can I get an amen?

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