By: Rev. Martin Hawley
On Thursday the agriculture team got an early start with the tractors, hoping to have them ready to plow some of the land by the end of the day. Despite their valiant efforts, the tractors both began developing problems and finally would not start at all. By the grace of God one of the medical team staff happened to know a great deal about machinery and came over to assist. Together the team determined that the batteries had been stored for too long in the trailers in hot, humid conditions, and so began recharging both batteries. By the time Seth and I left Haiti on Friday, the team had the tractors running enough to begin breaking the soil over on the seventy-acre agriculture site.
Also on Thursday, Jean took me to see his location for opening a new, American-style restaurant. It is in the nearby suburb of Croix Des Bouquets. The building is still under construction, but faces the main town square and within easy access for people working in the main banks, the mayor's office, and the UN regional headquarters. The front door of the restaurant will face the town square, which features a beautiful park. There is great potential in this new business as it will be the only 'sit down' dining establishment in the entire community. Also, this will provide steady employment for some of the Haitians associated with our ministry in La Plaine.
On Thursday night I met with the young men who are involved in Jean Paul's leadership institute. I spoke with them about starting their own businesses under our new micro-finance initiative. Each man posed for a photograph and then shared their vision for a start-up business. Together we concluded that $1,000 would be enough to capitalize each small business. So I will be seeking interested investors in the U.S. to help fund these 12 men, as well as the larger sum needed for Jean Paul's restaurant project.
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