By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
The day began like any other but in the afternoon of Jan. 12, 2010, all hell opened up in Haiti.
The already poor country, suffered a 7.0 magnitude earthquake.
In the days that followed there were over 52 aftershocks measured at 4.5 or higher.
An estimated three million people were affected by the quake. It was reported that an estimated 316,000 had died, 300,000 had been injured and over a million were made homeless.
The government of Haiti has also estimated that 250,000 residences and 300,000 commercial buildings had collapsed or were severely damaged.
Enter now the Homes for Haiti, a ministry project of One Mission Society.
Pastor Pete Wetendorf of the Conrad Mission Church in Conrad tells the I-O that One Mission has been ministering there for over 50 years and this was an opportunity to form a new project, Homes for the Haiti Ministry.
The focus of Homes for Haiti includes construction of quality homes for needy families; teach building techniques and skills to Haitians to help sustain them so they can teach other and support evangelism, discipleship and church planting.
Leaving on Friday is a group from the Conrad Mission Church that includes Pastor Wetendorf, John and Kari Brauer, Steve Calvery, Garrett and Torie Grubb, Mark Grubb, Phillip Kleinsasser, Lake and Locke Mellott, Marty Metz, and Dale Smeltzer.
Also going on the week-long mission are Mike DeVries, Bob Grubb, and Glenn Todd of Denton.
Wetendorf explained that the goal is to build two solid homes for the future.
They will be 400 square feet (20x20) with three rooms of a concrete and reinforced block design. Each will have a truss/metal roof system.
The building time is typically six days, excluding the foundation. The total cost $10,000 includes labor and materials.
The group will be split into two teams and work fast and furiously on their project.
A tentative schedule looks like this: Arrive in Haiti on Saturday and attend a worship service on Sunday with Haitians and take a short tour of the area.
They will work on a home Monday through Saturday, building walls, installing rebar, door frames and widows. They will build trusses, form and pour a bond beam, install the roof system, pour a concrete floor, install ceiling and doors, dedicate the home and travel back to Montana on Sunday
The cost to each person for the trip is approximately $1,050 (all inclusive) from Miami. Everyone pays their own expenses to go, most raising funds.
Many are giving up a portion of their vacation time to go and some are not getting paid while they are gone.
Wetendorf noted that the group will be taking as big of suit cases as possible filled with nuts and bolts and solar lights.
The new type of solar lights will be left outside during the day and then brought in the new home for lighting in the evening.