Things have been crazy busy around here in the past couple of weeks!
As many of you know, we’ve been slowly starting to build on the new mission site out in Camp Marie. We’ve started work on the work shop (depot in Creole) and staff bathrooms, as well as the work pad. I’m going to try to update regularly and you can follow those updates on here if you’re interested.
We’re really excited that we get to share some big news with you that’s been in the works behind the scenes for several months. Six, actually.
Last summer, after returning from our summer vacation, we received a phone call from someone interested in purchasing the current mission property. We knew that finding a buyer and using the funds from the sale was going to be the best way to develop the new site because it would mean we wouldn’t have to tap into the General fund, which we wanted to see going towards operations and filter production, not construction. Conversations with the interested party moved forward, and after six months of negotiations and writing up agreements we signed a deal!
As of the end of January we have a buyer for the Pierre Payen property!
We were able to arrange a deal that saw half of the purchase price paid up front, and the other half paid at year end. This means we have funding available to start construction on the main residence and office space. This is a key thing as it will mean we’ll be able to move at the end of the year and then finish building the other work yard facilities and guest house/volunteer housing.
So, it’s been full steam ahead around here for the past month! The construction team has been working hard to keep moving on the depot, finishing up the septic system for the main house/office, started the septic system for the staff bathrooms, finished building the roof supports for the work pad, and a lot of other things! The most exciting thing is that they broke ground on the house/office foundation last week. By week end we should see rebar tied in and things ready for cement to be poured.
For me personally, it’s exciting because I’ve been the lead on the design plans for this building. It’s been a labor of love to design a residence and office space that will be really functional over the long term. While our family will be living in it for hopefully many years to come, I’m mindful of the fact that it’s not “our” house, but rather the missions facilities. I wanted to create a space that would not one function well for our family, but also work well for the mission over the long term and allow us room to do many of the things we do now, just better.
We do certain staff activities in our home, so factoring in a team of at least 15 for those times is necessary. Our family aims to reach out to our local missionary and expat community by opening up our homes for meals and fellowship, and it’s become a place where people like to be. We know how hard it is to be here over the long term, and how important those relationships are, so we want to do what we can to build into that body. When we host a Vision Trip week we also eat all of our meals with visitors in our home. For us, it provides a relaxed way to get to know each other and engage in conversation, often centered around people’s questions about Haiti, the filter project and just life in general for us in country.
One of the spaces I think I’m most excited about is the office space. We currently don’t have a separate office area, and never have. The “office” has always been a desk area in some part of our house. Right now it’s in our main living area where everyone is, all the time. There’s limited room, so we have office supplies stored in various places. Peggy is working on our kitchen table during the day so that we can all be in the same space and collaborate on things when needed. It’s not ideal, but we’re making it work. The new site will have a set apart office where we can close a door between the main residence and focus on work, or close it and get away from work. Both are much needed!
As we start to see walls going up I’ll be sure to share pictures with you so you can be part of the journey with us. It really is exciting times for us here in Haiti!