The well in Charye

One of the best days ever in Haiti was the community blessing day Hut Outreach had in Charye. After that we canvassed all of the homes in the area to ask how we could best help.  The top three needs were a well, a school, and a clinic. There were shallow wells throughout the area, but no well with proper drinking water.  We visited one of the wells- tadpoles and slime covered the top- it looked like a big mud puddle.  I asked what water they drink, thinking there was another well they could show me but unfortunately, that was it. The community had a makeshift school meeting in the church, yet they had no money to pay the teachers so it was not consistent. Medical needs were serious as there was no triage or clinic of any kind. The people had to take a motorcycle taxi or bicycle into the city if they were sick or injured. This was dangerous, in fact we learned of a 50 year old man who had recently died in his hut, unable to seek any medical assistance.

Usually after a trip we come home and brainstorm: what’s next, how can we afford it, how can it be done? After that trip we were overwhelmed. Up to that point we had helped individual families, we had just a few thousand dollars a year in donations.  Building a clinic or school seemed impossible. But we started dreaming about the well. Toto found a piece of land in Charye and a donation came in to buy it, $600. You know who you are- we are forever grateful for the seed you planted in the ministry of Hut Outreach.

We also had a quote from a Haitian well drilling company, $2000. That was an overwhelming sum, but again, friends and family stepped up and made it possible. So through phone calls to Toto the process was arranged. At that time Toto would go to the telephone company in Les Cayes to call us- he called every couple weeks to give us updates. We were so excited to hear that the well drilling had begun. Then we got the call- the bit fell off deep into the hole, the drilling was on hold until a new part could be ordered and shipped to Haiti! That was incredibly discouraging, I remember wondering how long that would take.  Two weeks went by and Toto called again, this time with an incredible story.

The day after the bit broke the people of Charye came to the drilling site with spoons, bowls, and picks. They began digging their own hole several feet away from the drilling equipment. With spoons, their hands, whatever they had, they dug a 50-foot-deep hole and a tunnel connecting the two. A local man shimmied through the tunnel to enter into the first hole and retrieved the bit that fell off. The well drillers came back and resumed drilling. After 16 years and a few minor repairs, the well is still serving the community of Charye. The well is over 100 feet deep and produces clean and cool water. Engraved on the pump is the saying Nan nom Jezi Kris, “In the name of Jesus”.

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