Saipan, N.M.I. – Weekly Report – Oct 7-11, 2019

October 16, 2019

On Sunday, five volunteers from Canada, one from Kansas and one from Idaho arrived, joining the additional seven volunteers here.   We gathered with the Saipan Community Church for worship and communion, and then ate lunch at the Spicy Thai Noodle Place.  Since it is close to the American Memorial Park, we took time to watch their 10-minute video on the history of Saipan.  Next it was time for our new volunteers to shop at Joeten’s for their breakfast items. 

Little did we know how handy those breakfast items would be for our improvised meals while Super Typhoon Hagibis made its way across CNMI.  Hotel Aquarius did a great job of keeping us informed of what all they would be doing to ensure our safety: come close the shutters on our windows; provide us with flashlights; tell us when the power would be switched to the generator and when it would be turned off.  All in all, we faired through the storm just fine even though the wind was strong.  FEMA did a roll call the next morning to be sure we all were accounted for.  Finally, on Wed. afternoon, FEMA gave the approval for us to go out on the job sites again.

Half of the team worked on Doris’ house installing two windows, completing the roof over the outside kitchen and completing the house roof.

The other half of the team worked on Theresa’s house, continuing to build walls, rafters and installing some of the tin.  Since we lost 2 ½ days of work, the crews opted to work Saturday morning.

A highlight this week was learning that Super Typhoon Hagibis did not do a lot of damage on the island.  Even though the delay in working was an inconvenience, we took time to reflect on the huge inconvenience Yutu brought to so many here.  The patience they have shown is remarkable.  Having a small part in bringing a ray of hope is indeed a highlight for our time here.

We will again be able to have crews working on two sites next week.  We anticipate completing our work at Doris’ as well as Theresa’s and starting on another big project.

Word has come that an extension has been granted for the FEMA VALOR program which is very good news as there are many people still without a dry place to live.  We are grateful for the many that have volunteered their time and talents, giving a helping hand and in so doing showing God’s love. 

Submitted by Don & Rachel Horst, project director and office manager