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I woke up this morning at 5am and my heart sank as I looked out the window and found the sky filled with thick clouds.  “Our roof”, I thought, as I contemplated the disaster that would befall us if it rained hard while the roof was being poured.  A few hours later, we were up at the site and the sun was starting to peek through the clouds.  My spirits lifted and my heart was warmed by the sounds and sights of activity by the workmen who had started pouring the concrete at 6am.  By 9am they had already made good progress.  I was impressed by the organization of the workers – one group on ladders taking cement up to one half of the building and another group taking it up to the other half.  Everyone had his position and responsibility and the site was bustling with activity.

The next 9 hours were spent watching, talking, taking photos, saying numerous prayers of thanksgiving, reflecting, reminiscing and watching some more.  It was a wonderful day, full of excitement, gratitude and admiration for the workers who worked so diligently throughout the day.  Of course, the sight and smell of 2 cooking fires with three pots of rice and beans and another with meat from a freshly slaughtered goat helped the workers’ attitudes!  But, it was, without a doubt, the Lord’s day.  And the mood was festive and fun.  And, at the end of the day, much earlier than we had anticipated, we had a new roof, fresh and beautiful, and no rain to spoil it.

The prayers of the faithful were definitely heard today.  Thank you for praying and thank you for your faithfulness.  I’ll post photos in another day or two.

THANK YOU!

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Tomorrow, Wednesday, February 26th is going to be an exciting day for us here in Haiti as this is the day the construction workers are planning to pour the main roof of the second floor of the pharmacy building.  It is a day that has been long in coming and we are grateful to the Lord that it has finally arrived.  Constructing a building to the point where the roof is ready to be poured is no easy task.  First comes the foundation, then the floor, then the walls and columns, then the beams, doors and windows and finally the roof.  Preparing the roof for concrete involves nailing 2X4’s longwise on top of which are placed sheets of plywood, all of which are held up by tall bamboo poles.  Iron rebar is then placed on top of the plywood in a lattice pattern to give strength and stability to the concrete.  Between the iron bars go the electrical pipes that will carry wiring down into the ceilings and walls below.  The last thing to be placed are planks along the edges of the roof, holding in the rebar and, eventually, the concrete.

In mid-September, 2013 we began laying out the blocks on the roof of the pharmacy/lab/xray building that marked the walls of the second floor residence quarters.  Here is a photo from September 14th:

Laying out blocks where the residence area walls will go on the second floor of the pharmacy/lab/xray building

Laying out blocks where the residence area walls will go on the second floor of the pharmacy/lab/xray building

Here, only five months later, the walls are up and the roof is ready to be poured!  The roof pour will involve over 60 workmen and will begin around 5am and continue until dark.  The concrete will be mixed using two cement mixers, sand, gravel, cement powder and water and will be taken up to the roof on ladders using a bucket brigade.  Here are the four ladders in place as of Monday:

4 ladders in place for carrying concrete in buckets up to the roof

4 ladders in place for carrying concrete in buckets up to the roof

Buckets and wheelbarrows are standing ready as well!

Some of the wheelbarrows that will carry concrete across the roof as it is poured

Some of the wheelbarrows that will carry concrete across the roof as it is poured

The day workers who are being hired are from Jérémie and they all have considerable experience pouring concrete roofs.  They will be brought up to the site in our dump truck, along with dozens of masons, the electricians, iron workers and carpenters.  It will be a festive day with food being cooked for all and plenty of excitement and enthusiasm.

Cherlie and I and our staff will be there to watch and encourage and we may get a little touch up painting done in the clinic as well.

Sand, gravel, drums for water and one of our cement mixers stand ready for the big day!

Sand, gravel, drums for water and one of our cement mixers stand ready for the big day!

Please pray for us during the day on Wednesday as we and the construction crew take on this huge task.  We would appreciate your prayers for the safety of the workers, excellence and conscientiousness in the foremen and masons and patience and strength for all.  Having a dry day with no rain would be nice as well!

Stay in touch and we’ll bring photos of the roof pour itself!

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