An interesting week for Matt in Haiti

22 Jul

From our son Matthew:

Greetings from Haiti! It has been an interesting and stretching week for me – although that is not all too unusual for my time here. I had planned to spend most of my week working in the Haiti Health Ministries clinic as the next two weeks will be packed full of work projects with volunteer teams. Monday started off with what was supposed to be a small side project. I met with a well drilling team that we had contracted to drill a well at the new property of one of our partner orphanages. After guiding them to the site, I managed to get a few hours in at the clinic observing patient interactions, taking vitals, and giving a few shots. Early in the afternoon however, I got a call from the well drillers with the news that they had hit water!
This is great news – unless you can’t turn it off. And indeed, they could not turn off the water gushing from the new hole in the ground. Easily 50 gallons of water per minute were pouring onto the property and quickly created a pond around the well. The well drillers said they had never seen anything like that in Haiti and were totally unprepared for such a situation. They had no choice but to leave it and essentially handed me the problem. So there I was, a medical student whose school for some reason left out the well-capping course, stuck with a small geyser flooding a partner’s property (now a small lake).
Over the next few days I kept up with the drilling contractors, who did eventually return to the site with some encouragement, obtaining necessary materials and trying new ways to cap off the well. The good folks at Samaritan’s Purse put one of their giant bulldozers to work and dug us a temporary trench to turn the lake into a river away from the well. Needless to say, my time at the clinic was limited. Unfortunately, we still have not solved the problem a week later, although we think we may have a solution in the works.
Although this is certainly a problem right now, God has shown the orphanage amazing provision in the incredible amount of free-flowing clean water available at their site. In the future, this water will be used for drinking, bathing, and garden irrigation. With so much available, the extra can even be used to bless their neighbors. I laugh even now as I think about the ridiculous situation that this has been, knowing that God has a plan to use this water to further His purposes in that community.
Now we have a team from Iowa with us ready to repair a block house at another partner orphanage this week. Please pray for safety on the jobsite, strong team relationships, and the ability to look beyond the construction to the important tasks of loving on the kids and the staff at the orphanage. Thank you all for your prayers and encouraging notes!
Matt Duggan

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