Our journey began right after college, before we ever worked with OMS. Jane and I went into Haiti with a development organization, Hospital Albert Schweitzer, which was somewhat funded by the Mellon family back in Pennsylvania. During our stay, we worked on building a penetration road using a small D4D bulldozer. We never anticipated this trip being the beginning of missions for us, but God used the trip to work in our hearts.
As I said, we spent our time building a road, which had been started by Hudson Hess, then handed off to MFM. The road was about 30 miles into the mountains, outside of Port-au-Prince. This assignment, along with other development, agriculture, and medical projects were what I worked on.
So, Hudson had started this road and had made some progress when a group of guys from Ohio sent in a bulldozer. Following that, some neighbors of ours, the Gaskells, sent a road grader. Men for Missions teams came in from all over the country to work on that road. They came in for a couple weeks at a time and went up into the mountains to stay for their short time. For a while we slept in Haitian houses, before acquiring a small camper. It was a tremendous experience with the local people, as well as those who came to work from all over the U.S.
This road was built not simply so that people could reach the villages, but specifically so that people could reach the villages with the Gospel.
But the thing that really tickled me happened about two years ago. I was in Port-au-Prince, working with one of the housing projects, when I encountered a man from Holland at the villa who was distributing Bibles. He was talking about the area that he'd gone to in rural mountains. I asked him some questions and discovered that he had been up at the town of Léogâne, which was up on a road area that we had worked on. And he had a beautiful picture of an area where I remember standing many evenings overlooking Port-au-Prince. He gave me that picture, and I still have it. How neat to know that after 30-some years that road is still being used. Ministry is still taking place.
For those who put in time and effort on that road so many years ago, God continues to use it and bless it. You have a lasting legacy in Haiti. I'd just like to thank everybody, the countless people who took part in the work groups, and those who helped fund it. I'd love to go back up there. I've been back to Haiti many times and never had the opportunity to head back up that road. But one of these days, I'm going to do that. It's fun to keep up because I know that God continues to use our work for His Kingdom. What a tremendous blessing it has been to have had that opportunity.