Haiti is a hot, hard place. Kristy Stark, member of the COF team, can testify to the hardship of life in Haiti, especially since the earthquake that up-ended any previous progress. But upon her return to Texas she said one of the things she cannot get over is the undefiled joy she witnessed among the Haitian people in the village of Beudet.
Each day as the team entered the small village there would be an avalanche of affectionate greetings from the children, so eager for another day with their COF friends. Spending all the days in this one community allowed bonds to be forged amid work, water and a wedding! The benefit of remaining in one place is the luxury of knowing the Haitian friends by name – and knowing their stories and smiles.
Our COF friends spent time fixing the local church, Eglise Chretienne de Beudet, alongside founders Walter and Raymond. Since it is a temporary structure on lended land, they brought in tarps and other materials to suit the situation.
Two days were invested in well work… finishing a well so that water could be brought into the heart of the community. How wonderful that God placed an electrical engineer on the team to help bring the job to completion! With a pump, generator and more digging… water gushed up 180 feet to the surface! What joy to be part of that miraculous moment when the well gave its first drink to the village.
Then friends and family (which included us by now) gathered for another significant moment. Together we would prepare the fixed up church for a wedding. The bride was a new believer and member of the congregation, though she and her groom already had a family together. Still, she wanted to exchange vows and have her marriage blessed by God and her community.
COF friends became the décor team… and along with their new friends they dressed the church up for a celebration. This is what friends and family do – celebrate together, bless one another, work together for the good of the community.
Walter and Raymond have shepherded this community well with love for children and their families. COF friends have come alongside as true friends participating in the work, well-digging and even a wedding. It is a good day when community development gives way to the development of friendships – that is what happened during our days in Haiti!