It has been quite awhile since we posted an update. Let's see, where to start?? The security wall. Thanks to "Poppinga Pay it Forward Fund" (Brady and Brooke Poppinga) and Jeremy Johnson and a few other donors we raised enough to build the security wall around IOJ orphanage and rent a house to open up the "Poppinga Guest Home" for our volunteers going to Haiti, as well as other relief groups. Most of the hotels and guest houses in Port-au-Prince were destroyed in the earthquake so it has been a challenge for volunteers to find safe places to stay. We are happy that we will be able to assist others in their efforts as well as our own.
Rebecca went back to Haiti about a week ago with Jack Williams. Jack has a background in engineering and extensive experience overseeing construction projects in developing countries. They were able to successfully locate and arrange for all the building materials to be delivered to the orphanage in preparation for the construction crew. The crew of 12 volunteers from Utah (and one from Seattle) arrived to Haiti yesterday morning and have already made a lot of progress.
Rebecca also enlisted the help of the U.S. military. She went over to the base the other day and asked to speak to a "higher up" (I don't know the rankings in the military :) ) She told him about our project and asked if some of the men would be interested in assisting. To her surprise he was VERY interested and a group of 4 men, including the chaplain, went to the orphanage to check things out. Once they saw the conditions they were 100% on board. Today they showed up with 25 men and heavy machinery... isn't that awesome?!
One last thing. About a week ago a little newborn baby named Schneider was dropped off at the orphanage. His story of survival is remarkable. Schneider was born an hour after the earthquake. His mother was barried in the rubble and she gave birth to him while she was trapped. Tragically she did not survive, but the father was able to dig out this new little baby boy. The new daddy tried his best to take care of Schneider for several weeks, but just couldn't do it and so he brought him to IOJ orphanage. There are several other babies that have been dropped off recently.
Thank you all so much for your support!