This article, written by FPC's Sally Garmon Smith, was originally published in the August 2016 issue of the Light of Life, the Solar Under the Sun newsletter. The article is a thank you for the assistance provided during the installation of the solar-powered water filtration system at St. Etienne in Haiti. The project was done in partnership with Solar Under the Sun, Living Waters for the World, and Central Presbyterian Church of Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Lavallee, Haiti, 2014, 2015, 2016
When we encountered difficulties in completing our installation of solar power and clean water filtration for the community at a school in Lavallee, Haiti in October 2015, we turned it over to the Lord. It is simply the power of Christ to transcend any linguistic boundaries or man-made obstacles and I have seen this especially in this community of believers in Christ in Lavallee.
We were amazed at their resourcefulness and hospitality without which this installation would not have been completed. It took many months of preparation, some setbacks, lots of prayer, and several trips before the installation was completed. The tenacity of many people of faith to help this community which had lost their water source, and were hoping against hope that we could complete this installation WITH THEM. And we did, in April 2016….. WITH GOD’S HELP, and THEIRS.
So, this is a tribute to many unnamed people in the community of Lavallee, Haiti, and the people who helped this installation in the United States. Fevry nau Picchoneau and his family: wife, mother-in-law, brother, (Francois), let us stay in their home (twice!) as family, while working on this project. Ancy our “uber friend,” and many other people, Valdes Innocent, (a Living Waters for the World technician), and his assistant Charles, all worked tirelessly with the community, when we thought there was simply no hope, and that the defective pump we had taken great pains to install, in October 2015, was deemed to be irretrievable. Still, we kept praying for a solution, and it finally came.
And, so it is with God. Sometimes, the things we work hard to accomplish are not on His timeline or agenda, or so we think. I am here to tell you that without community of faith in God, there is no definite endpoint. Let God help you to do your work. Let each person’s gifts be recognized, Gary Naud, Justin Badio, our new operators of the system in Lavallee. The thanks are not able to be shared with everyone whose name and personal history we did not obtain, so we all give thanks to God our creator and redeemer, and glory to His name. My thanks are also to the unnamed custodian of the school who came to the worksite with the grappling hook, and enabled retrieval of the pump, to many behind the scenes people: to Fevry’s wife and her helpers who made fresh squeezed lemonade and a picnic lunch of ham and bread which we ate on the worksite while we grappled with the mysteries God has set before us, and to His providence which enabled this successful installation.
Thank you, Haitian partners and friends in America!! You know who you are.