The King will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." (NIV) (Matthew 25;40)
VIEWS OF A FARM BOY
VIEWS OF A FARM BOY--150th EDITION: My first Views of a Farm Boy was published in January, 2006. Since then I have featured many birthday, anniversary and/or other milestone events, along with my other adventures. My first edition of Views of a Farm Boy featured my first ever mission trip to Haiti. Since the very first minute (November, 2005) our mission plane put down on the grass runway in Pignon, Haiti, it was truly love at first sight. Yes, I do love the beautiful country of Haiti and its wonderful people. I must also acknowledge the valuable friendships I have developed with team members and other missionary friends I have met throughout the years. These are just a few of the reasons I felt led to do a "Haiti theme" for this special personal milestone--the 150th Edition of Views of a Farm Boy.
RETURN TO HOMEPAGE>>>>>>
The first HHH home was built by my sister, Dorothy. She was 14 years older than I and grew up during the great depression. She lived in Chicago, Minneapolis and finally Sioux City all of her adult life. She never drove a car or owned a house and went through many difficult times, including the loss of her only daughter. Dorothy lived a simple life, usually in an ethnic community, and shared her time and her resources with the poor and underprivileged. Dorothy was frugal, but fiercely independent. She never made a lot of money, but managed what she had very well. Dorothy died December 27, 2010 at the age of 92. She still had money left after her final expenses so we used her money to build this home. So Dorothy now has a home of her own--in Haiti--she would like that!! But that is just the beginning of the story. When I visited this home, I saw the pure joy of the family living here. They had been lifted out of nothingness to a home of their own. It is a home that will provide a safe-healthy environment for many generations. That was the first ever HHH home. There are now 22 HHH homes--with more to come!
Left: This beautiful home was built by our daughter Darcy, her husband Kerry and children, Taylor, Tara, and Jordyn. Right: This house was built around an old existing stick home which was torn down when construction was completed. This home is located right down the road so the families helped each other wth the building process.
Left: This beautiful home was built by our friends, Willie and Diane Berndt. It was built in memory of Diane's father. Bible verse, Psalm 13:5-6, painted above the door, was her father's favorite verse. Just to add an Iowa touch--there is a "cornfield" in the front yard. Right: This nice family just moved in. Look behind the lower left of this house--they have bananas in their back yard.
I'm a farmer and we try to encourage backyard gardens where space and water supply permits.
VIEWS OF A FARM BOY--150th EDITION: There are so many things I wanted to cover as I recognize the great country of Haiti this month. I am positive and upbeat about Haiti. I have seen a lot of good things happen since my first trip in 2005. Many of the dirt-mud streets of Pignon are now paved. This, in turn, resulted in many new family owned retail business opportunities to serve the needs of the community. The already great hospital just keeps improving to better serve the health needs of the community. A few more job opportunities are a natural by-product of other improvements. It seems witch doctors and vodou are less prevalent and local churches continue to have a positive impact on the community. Having said that, Haiti just can't seem to catch a break. Since I was last there one year ago, Haiti has been plagued with fuel problems and continued political unrest. These are just a few personal observations, but for this milestone 150th Edition of Views of a Farm Boy, I decided to share with you our family niche that demonstrates our love for the people of Haiti. We call it Homes for Haiti Hallelujah (HHH).
These three homes are in the countryside southwest of Pignon. It is a beautiful, but poverty stricken area. Their old homes were in shambles so this is luxury living.
This home is west of Savanette along the road leading to Cap Hatian. This is a multi-generational home. The Grandma, her children and adult grandchildren live here. It is divided front, middle and back, so they each have an entry door. Maybe we should call this a Hatian triplex!
A story here. Our 2015 Creekside Church Mission Team visited families in the countryside on Sunday afternoon. Our last stop of the day was at the home above. About 10 people were living here. The leaky banana leaf roof let the rain pour through to the dirt-mud floor where they slept. The stick wall construction provided very little protection from the wind and insects. Last stop for the day and we were all so touched by this--but the story doesn't stop here. When we got back to camp one of our team members, Ann Wenck, was so touched she pledged $2000 to build this family a new home. Other members of our team pitched in. Here is the Creekside Church Home--2015."
Recipients for new homes are selected with a great deal of care and consideration. These are a few examples of the homes that were replaced. We only build homes for the most needy and the poorest of the poor, who are living in deplorable conditions. Here are some of the original homes.
BREAKING NEWS--THESE TWO HOMES WERE JUST COMPLETED! Please feel free to stop by--there is open house every day!! (Above) The 1Chronicles 16:11 home was built in honor of our friends, Marge and Mike McKeever. The McKeevers have displayed the love of Jesus in their retirement years by helping others, especially refugees and the poor and underprivileged. At church they have been such an important part of Awana, Camp Vera, Angel Tree and the list goes on and on. Although they did not actually go to Haiti, they were such important prayer partners for our team. Our dear friend Mike, died March 28, 2019 after an extended illness, but Marge is right back into service for the Lord. How fitting it is that this home is dedicated to Mike and Marge as a testimony of their love for all people everywhere! (Below) The Deuteronomy 30:6 home was built by an anonymous donor. What an expression of love and compassion!
Left: This home is in the town of Savanette. Middle and right: Homes in the countryside.
Left: This beautiful home is along the road leading to Many Hands for Haiti. Tom and Connie Keller built this in memory of Connie's parents. Right: This happy couple are now living the good life. Those potted plants under the window add another touch of beauty.
Upper left: This is the only HHH home built in the city of Pignon. Now notice the smiley-faces on Grandma, Mama and the children. I can understand why they love their new home. Their old home (lower left) was nothing more than tin panels leaned against a city wall. Upper Right: This happy couple and their family live along the road to the hospital farm. Their old house (lower right) was an accident waiting to happen. Those rocks are loose and could have tumbled down any minute.
Left: You just wouldn't want to see this family's old house! Right: Money remaining from our 2017 mission trip was used to get this project going. We call this home Creekside Church Mission Team Home--2017.
As I said in my opening paragraph, this is a milestone red-letter day for me--marking publication of VIEWS OF A FARM BOY--150th EDITION. I wanted it to be something near and dear to my heart. Then as I thought it over, I wanted to give you an opportunity to share in this joy--if you feel so led. I thought building a house for a very needy family in Haiti could be something you might like to consider as a church (or other organization) project, a memorial for a loved one or just share of your own abundance. The total cost of a new home in Haiti is approximately $4000. This will probably remain a family home for many generations to come. This is not a high pressure sales pitch, but I do want to give you an opportunity to share in this special blessing. You may very well say this is the best investment you ever made.