This post by Tom
Church day! I had to ask Eric Rogers (our team’s Creole expert) what the Creole word for church was – Legliz. After a well deserved good night’s sleep, that helped us recover from the previous days very active schedule, we had a light breakfast and headed to church. Church is in a great building that has open walls (which was emphasized by the rooster and the dog visitors) . It was a packed house and we had to bring in a few more pews to fit everyone. The first few hours included entire families before the younger kids went off to a different program. The last hour was for the adults and young children. Yes, it was a 3+ hour service rivaling the length of any of Pastor Bryan’s sermons. Though it was long and in a different language, we did have some interpreters to help us. They also did a small part in English. Many of the tunes were familiar and we could sing along in English. It was fascinating observing how they do church and we enjoyed all of it. Jean Jean brought a great message and it was special to take communion with our Haitian brothers and sisters in Christ. The small children and babies were amazingly quiet. When one did act up, they had a woman, who I can best describe as a “baby whisperer”, go get the child, bring them back to her pew and she would have them quiet and happy in just a few moments, then return them to their mother. I witnessed her baby whispering at least 5 times. Some of the Haitian kids mingled in with us, especially our own team’s baby whisper, Saraphina Peltier (she is like a kid magnet). We, and another team from Iowa, were each asked to share a song. We went to the front of the church and Brad led us in 10,000 Reasons. The Haitian band and congregation knew the song and joined in. After church there was a lot of interaction with the kids and adults. It was a great time.
We then had lunch and our youth joined their youth for youth group, which lasted a few hours. We had an interpreter there and she did a great job. Wow, these kids know how to worship and pray! It was exciting to witness it. Our youth shared a favorite game of theirs – Wha! It really broke the ice and all the youth had a great time. Our youth and many of their youth shared favorite bible verses and explained why they were important to them. Nothing like God’s Word to break down cultural and language barriers! One special moment was when one of the boys shared that he lost his dad and then his mom just a few months later. He shared how lonely and discouraged he can get, how God’s Word is an encouragement to him and asked for prayer. After youth group, Natalie got a number of us together to pray for him. Eric interpreted and it was a special moment.
We ended the day with a fantastic barbecue chicken dinner and great devotion time. Austin did a fabulous job leading us in worship, we had some good discussion about Psalms 122 and ended with time in prayer.
Okay, off to bed with anticipation of what the Lord has for us next.