The Tin Project

Hello from the Rudolph Family!

We hope this finds each one of you and your family doing well.

We are here at home in Grand Fond after several very full weeks. The arrival and aftermath of Hurricane Matthew has brought everyone a lot of extra work as well as great opportunities.

As mentioned in our previous email, many families in our community lost either part or all of their roofs (or their entire home) during the hurricane. It also destroyed their cash crops, most fruits, vegetables, and some livestock thus leaving them with little available resources for house repair and food for the Winter.

We have received several generous donations directed to helping with hurricane relief. We, along with Nathan and Virginia at first felt a little overwhelmed as to how to apply these funds in a way that does not contribute to the dependency mentality that many Haitians possess. After talking and praying about this, and reaching out to others for counsel, we believe the Lord provided us with the answers we needed.

The “Tin Program” is put together in a way to help the affected families get their homes repaired without encouraging the dependency disposition. We began with the damaged houses nearest our home base and are moving out farther as more funds become available. We are giving people two pieces of tin, nails, and a Haitian roofer to oversee putting it on (a total value of about three days wages) in exchange for a day of community service. The average home uses approximately forty pieces of tin, so if the roof was completely lost, the head of the home will be giving twenty days of community service. Each person receiving the tin signs a contract that states they will do this work in exchange for what they are receiving. The community service project they are working on right now is centered around repairing the roads. The hurricane created many washouts, landslides, and ruts making it more difficult for everyone to come and go. There are very few jobs available right now, so they all seem extremely grateful for this arrangement and every day about ten more people come asking to participate in the program. Michael tells them to pray to God as the supplier of their needs and that we will expand our program as we receive funds to do so.

We have been repairing eight to ten homes a week with our current crew at an average cost of $160.00 USD per house.

torn-roof
One of the Wind Torn Roofs
Michael explaining contract details.
Michael explaining contract details.
Nathan and Michael distributing tin.
Nathan and Michael distributing tin.
Happily carrying away her new roof :)
Happily carrying away her new roof 🙂
This home will soon be dry and secure!
This home will soon be dry and secure!
Making a house inspections after the new tin is on.
Making a house inspections after the new tin is on.
A thankful couple.
A thankful couple.

Thursday afternoon, an older, crippled man that we have known for years came to our gate and asked Michael to please come look at his home. Michael told him that the tin program was out of money currently, but agreed to go visit him and see his house anyway. They walked the footpath to his home, and upon arriving, Michael found a third of his roof missing and the rest that remained was full of holes. Michael told the old man and his wife to pray that God would provide money to help them fix their roof. Michael stayed and visited awhile, and as he turned to leave he received a text from Breanna informing him that we just got our statement from CMML (Christian Missions in Many Lands) saying that we received $2000 for “Haiti relief”. Michael told the old man and his wife that God just provided for them and their roof could be fixed soon. If they weren’t so old they would have danced a jig! Instead, they erupted with, “Beni swa l’eternel!” (praise the Lord!) multiple times. They were so happy…Michael was showered with hugs and kisses (maybe not the best part of the job:), but their joy was in God who had seen and cared for their need.

Since arriving back in Haiti, we have had to spend a lot of time on paperwork. We had to file for an extension on our USA 2015 taxes due to waiting on the slow Haitian government and accountant to get out Haiti taxes figured out. After pressuring the accountant to get them done by the quickly approaching October deadline, he unexpectedly told us one afternoon that we had to be Port au Prince the next morning to spend what turned out to be three days of running from office to office signing papers and paying money before we could finally figure out what we could count toward our American taxes. Also, October is the beginning of the fiscal year in Haiti so all our legal papers had to be renewed. We started the paperwork to renew our Haitian residency, Aid For Haiti annual taxes had to be paid, and all our licenses and permits have to be reacquired. Meanwhile we are still working on finishing the title transfer for our new truck, and renewing a permit to have it’s windows tinted. Paper work of any kind in Haiti is a huge headache to say the least!! Catching up on three months of LIFE Literature office work from while we were in the States took another week’s worth of time in Port au Prince but thankfully that is almost done now.

Often we wonder why it feels like it takes forever to accomplish normal tasks here. There are times we find it discouraging how much time it takes to get from start to finish on a project. We have been trying for the past two weeks to get this update written and sent but everything else is more demanding and every daytime moment is needed for the tasks at hand. Sometimes we have to just stop and figure it up to reassure ourselves that we are not stuck in some kind of world with shorter days. We have to realize that the little things we were used to in the States that would save a few minutes, or an hour here and there, add up daily. For instance, hot water has to be heated on the stove; you have to wait for tasks like laundry or vacuuming until when the generator is running on these cloudy days; hanging up and taking down all of the laundry on the clothesline, right now multiple times a day due to sporadic rain; keeping mold and the hundreds of tiny of bugs that get into our apartment cleaned up; walking everywhere due to lack of roads; and the list could go on. Also when we have a crazy day and the baby is cranky, we can’t just go out for supper. If we have a breakdown or run out of supplies everything is five hours away and there’s no Walmart or Lowe’s once you get there. We are slowly learning how to adjust and compensate, we pray for patience and and try not to schedule our time based on how long we are used to something taking, but to learn the new normals.

Please continue to pray for us that we would have energy and wisdom. We are daily making decisions that effect many people and we need God’s direction on how to best use our time and the resources He is making available to us.

May the Lord bless you all! Thank you so much for your continued support. Please know that we are so very thankful for all of your prayers and care for us.

In His Service,
Michael, Breanna and Junior Rudolph

michael-rudolph-family

Hurricane Matthew

14591642_309027582788611_533880276984051990_nOctober 4, 2016 Hurricane Matthew pounded the southwestern part of Haiti with winds reaching an excess of 140 mph and flooding the mountains and valleys with torrential rains resulting in significant destruction of trees, crops, and buildings. In the mountains south of Petit Goave, Haiti where we are based two missionary families waited out this storm watching the destruction with amazement. We thank the Lord that they were safe through the storm and that their houses did not suffer significant damage although many of the trees have been broken or blown over. 14519932_308551976169505_678202764198793690_n

14492445_308554086169294_6285062557068823353_nMany of the neighbors houses have been significantly damaged and there are pressing needs for immediate housing as well as the repairs to the damaged buildings.14494819_309027532788616_7828461805732600483_n14517404_308553382836031_2268388168486728748_n

In addition to the damage to houses 14470612_308553142836055_8094024640025608109_nand buildings there has been significant loss of crops. We are grateful that the bean crop was harvested in the last two weeks, however, other food crops like millet and Congo beans had not yet been harvested and now have been completely ruined. Due to the destruction of trees the local farmers will not have their usual cash crop of citrus and other fruits to sell this year. As a result of this loss of crops we anticipate that food will be in short supply this winter.

14519810_309027542788615_8884401966450334352_nAnother challenge facing this community is the destruction of roads making it impossible to bring in any supplies at this time. These mountain roads are always difficult to navigate but now washouts and mudslides have made them impassable in many places. It is also reported that bridges have washed out on major roads limiting the ability to bring aid or supplies into many of the areas that are the hardest hit by this hurricane.14516552_308552262836143_4914163277783116326_n

 

Please pray for us and for this community as we try to understand how to help in this time of loss and need. Our heart is to generously show the love of Christ to this community and help them with their physical needs. We pray that this would open doors to also minister spiritually both now and in the future.

We welcome you to join us in ministering to the people in this community. At this time we do not have the ability to get any supplies directly to the areas of need in Haiti however you may donate money to help. We are committed to sharing whatever resources we have to help with meeting the needs of food, shelter, and restoring transportation. We are also committed to sharing the Gospel with those who will listen. Will you join us in praying for the people of Haiti?

Update on the apartment…

September 29 – October 7th

Timothy Rudolph, Christen Beiler and Lowell Miller went down to Grand Fond, Haiti to help Michael put up the second story apartment! They were able to get a lot done!  We praise the Lord for their safety as they worked on the upper story framing, roofing, mounting solar panels, etc.  God blessed their time in so many ways. Before they left the US for Haiti, it had been pouring rain in Grand Fond every day; which, if that continued,  it would have made it very difficult to get done what they needed to get done. The whole time they were down there it did not rain, and we believe this was a direct answer to prayer.  They were able to accomplish all this team went to do.

Pictures below!

The first wall up!
The first wall is up!

photo (1024x768)

More walls up!
More walls are up!
Framing the walls inside.
Framing the walls inside. A bathroom is on the left, and a bedroom on the right.
Building the rafters for the roof.
Working on the roof.
A picture from the far corner of the property.  It's looking more like a house :)
A picture from the far corner of the property. It’s looking more like a house 🙂
This was Christen Beiler's third trip down to help with the house.
This was Christen Beiler’s third trip down to help with the house.
Michael and Timothy after a long and hard but successful week.
Michael and Timothy after a long and hard but successful week.

Thank you so much to the guys who gave so much of their time and energy to help with this project!