Friday, November 27, 2009

"What's Haiti Like?" (pt. 2)

The days were long. We would be at devotions at 6:40am; fortunately that was only 2 minutes away. After "devo" back to the house, make breakfast, drink some good coffee and chill out til about 9am. By 9 we were on task.

Typically our Haiti teams are doing various manual labor tasks but this trip was different. Arthur Spalding, the main missionary at Double Harvest had a vision for the last two years: to put on an eight day (Sun to Sun) evangelistic crusade to draw people from surrounding villages to Christ.

Our team would construct the stage (complete with lights, sound, and video projection) and then our worship band and drama team would be part of the crusade. We would also venture out to evangelize in the villages and spread the word about the crusade during the heat of the days.

A critical part of our team was the "Canadian Connection." Albert (Jason's Braun's cousin), Len, JB's dad, Lauren (JB's 2nd cousin), and Rebecca (speaks fluent Creole and has lived in Haiti the last two years.

Albert was "The Machine." He's a builder; knows how to do it right, quick, and just sturdy enough; which is referred to as "Burt-fect." He led the building of the stage and throughout the day (and week) never seemed to lose momentum.

When we arrived Albert and Len had already erected two rows of scaffolding 32' wide. My expectation of a stage in Haiti in the middle of a bean field was a 3' unassuming bit of boards. This would be nothing close. The 6' high scaffolding would be the stage's base. WOW!

If that weren't enough, after we decked the 6' high, 32'x16' stage, we would attached an 8' wall all along the back of the stage. WOW. WOW.

Next thing I know. we're putting 4"x4" posts along the front of the stage. Why? To support 2"x12" planks that would span the top of the back wall to the front of the stage to form a roof! WOW.WOW.WOW.

It wasn't a stage--it was a BAND SHELL on steroids in the middle of a bean field at the crossroads of three villages, none of which had utilities. This wasn't a crusade--this was HAITI-STOCK, man!

And what powered this stage of sound, lights and video projection? Well a 1,500 lb industrial generator of course--what else? Yes Bert tossed the generator off the huge flatbed with the forks on a Bobcat about as easily as you or I would grab dishes off the kitchen shelf. He placed it about 50' behind the stage.

We expected to lift a compartment door on the generator to reveal a band of receptacles to plug into--that's what we're used to in the Americas. No--we're in Haiti--it must be hard wired!

Chris Herr just happened to (at the last minute) throw a voltmeter into his bag. WOW. CB and the guys are hard wiring romex from the generator to the stage--where they then wired about six electrical boxes for the stage (plug ins for guitar amps, lights, projector etc). Romex is run to the sound booth in the middle of the bean field. (The booth is housed in an open trailer.) CB really kept his cool and really rose to the occasion.

Arthur really pushed for a big light in the field so people wouldn't be in the dark. The next thing you know--somehow Len and the guys have erected a 20' tall metal light pole with industrial light atop. It looks just like any light in any parking lot in the US.

So there it is in the middle of this bean field in Haiti--the "S.S. Stage" and accompanying parking lot light. Exactly what you'd expect to see in the middle of no where in the poorest country in the world! Haitistock indeed ;-)