I guess the normal thing to do would be to go to an orientation/training before you start a job…but, who likes to be normal??
We signed on with Living Water International in March, and immediately moved from Port de Paix to Cap Haitian. They needed us to start right away, and they didn’t really have a training/orientation set up yet, so we began working. We had read a lot about them before we signed on, and loved everything we heard, read, and had experienced thus far. In June they scheduled a orientation for us, the other couple working in Port au Prince, our new boss who was hired to oversee Haiti and the America’s, a new country director for Liberia, and sweet lady who had just started in the accounting area right at the headquarters in Texas.
So, off we went for a week in Houston, Texas. Turns out, in the summer time, Haiti and Texas feel pretty similar!! The only difference being there is a/c everywhere, and everyone cranks it up! So we had a whole week in Texas to see the LWI headquarters, meet everyone that works for LWI stateside, hear from the CEO himself, and learn more about LWI.
It was a great week. It was jammed packed with back to back meetings, videos, and activities. They fed us well too, and we enjoyed our first go around of Tex Mex-pretty good! Of course not as wonderful as our Mexican food in Southern California, but very tasty! It was so great to be able to sit down the the CEO, Mike Mantel, and learn about the vision and plans for LWI. He has a heart for the Lord, and it was so great to catch a glimpse of that and get to know him. He brings so much knowledge and experience to LWI. We even heard from each department, almost each person too, to learn specifically what they do. It was so great to see what amazing people work for LWI, and how many talented people it takes to run such a great organization. The Houston office has about fifty people there-all in cubes too, even the CEO!!-and it was fun to meet them all.
Then on Wednesday we drove about an hour outside the city to this amazing get away place. It’s the home of a wonderful couple who own 250 acres of land, and they charge people to come there and fish their huge bass fish. The cool part is they allow LWI to use it for training purposes! They have given them land to drill a few wells and LWI made a “training” area where people can come to learn about how to repair pumps. They use it to train teams, if they want, before they come to a country to do drilling or pump repair they come to this facility and learn how to do it properly. It’s so cool! And the fun part for Brandon and I was learning about all the different pumps they use around the world, and hanging out and fixing those pumps with other people from LWI. Turns out there were about 25 of us there! LWI had several employees who had never been to pump repair training, and many interns too, and this was a perfect time to get everyone out there and learn the actual mechanics of how to fix pumps. I was blown away by the facility, the generosity of this couple, the men who volunteer their time to teach these special classes, and I especially loved learning how the pumps in other countries work.
What was so fun too, was that while we only there for a short week, we even made a few friends. Some of the LWI staff took us out and showed us the Lone Star State-and we had so much fun. We re-connected with sweet Shannon (who had just come to Haiti with our awesome Mississippi team) and so it was a blast to see her again.
All and all, it was a delightful week. We were already pretty excited about Living Water, but after an entire week learning more about the organization, how it started, where it’s going, and the new plans for the future-we are pumped!!! They have a heart and passion for the Lord, they want to serve and love on other people, and they are committed to helping to bring people around the world the good news of Jesus along with helping them to get clean water. Good stuff. We are excited and thankful to be a part of such an incredible team.