Often what makes any organization run well isn’t it’s programs, it’s the people.
We’re very grateful for our Haitian staff and how much they contribute to the day to day running of Clean Water for Haiti. In many cases our staff have been with us for many years. Up until last month our most recently hired staff member was hired 4 years ago. In December we were able to hire 4 new guys, and another two weeks ago when we started up work after our Christmas break. Over the years we’ve seen a lot of skill development, as well as personal development and it’s truly one of the things that we love the most about our job of leading the mission. We get the privilege of learning right alongside our staff.
One person that’s been a huge blessing in recent months is someone that has come alongside the mission, and we’re so grateful for him. Andrew Swick and his wife Kendra, are missionaries who have a heart and calling to help other missions be more effective. They regularly evaluate the needs they see around them and the relationships they have within the missionary community, and volunteer to help where they feel the most led. In early 2014 Andy helped Clean Water for Haiti in a number of ways on smaller projects, and we were thrilled when they returned from their summer break and he told us that he wanted to volunteer 4 days of week to helping us out. He has experience in construction as well as a variety of other things like mechanical, electrical and plumbing type work. I can’t even tell you what a gift this is to us.
One of our big concerns with starting a major development and construction project like the new site demands was how Chris would manage the current filter work, and oversee construction at a completely different property. Andy was the answer!
Because he’d worked with us last year he had developed relationships and a good rapport with our staff. With his experience and knowledge base he was the ideal person to oversee the work there, being able to know what principles needed to be applied to the construction and able to see when things were missed or not going the way they should.
I think the thing that stands out most about Andy is his willingness to really serve. Aside from his work overseeing the construction, which has been amazing, he frequently jumps in to help out with other things as he’s able.
A perfect example of this presented itself a couple weeks ago when our blue Daihatsu truck broke down again. We had only driven it for a few months when the engine blew again. Andy suggested he and Chris tow it to the work site so he could work on it while still overseeing the construction.
I was out there last week and when I arrived not only did I find the engine of the truck in pieces and laid out on the bed of the truck, I found Andy covered from head to toe in grease.
The picture really doesn’t show how much grease he had on himself. It was a lot!
My point in all of this is that this is a guy that shows a deep dedication to what he commits himself to. He always does the very best he can on whatever project he’s working on, and the example he sets to those around him about character and integrity is amazing. More than that though, he loves people and is one of the most humble people we know. Recently we were talking about how well our staff have been welcomed into the new community. He told me about a time when he and the guys were going to get lunch and as they walked he felt like he was a part of their “crew” not the other way around as is normal here. I loved that it was something that stood out to him and that he preferred to not be elevated in any way.
We are so very grateful for his partnership with us in ministry and work. He has been such a blessing to us and the workers and we’re excited to see how the rest of the year pans out as we keep building.