Tonja and I have been coming to Haiti for a while now, so much so that it almost feels like a second home when we are here. But that means that it also feels normal to us, and we sometimes miss the feeling of those first experiences. It is amazing to see the wonder in the eyes of new members who find their expectations did not even come close to the actual experience. But on Sunday, Tonja and I got to experience a first for us, we got to take communion with Pastor Marcèl’s church. That is something that is probably going to stay with us for a while.
Unfortunately, the rain cut church short. In Haiti, most people travel a good distance to get to church, and most do it on foot. Rain or shine. We are once again reminded of how often our church attendance back home goes down when the weather is bad, and we all have cars. You wonder when it was that people lost that passion that made them want to come to church like that, no matter what. In America, church is just another event to some, but in Haiti, it is so much more than that.
After church we went back to the hotel to wait for the rain to stop.
Once the rain had stopped, we got to head to Gelèe Beach.
It didn’t take the boys long to find some kids to play football with. Kids in Haiti are more likely to play soccer, but throwing a ball back and forth is universal.
Of course, there is the beach tradition of drinking coconut water. It is, apparently, an acquired taste. This being Scott’s second trip, he had definitely acquired it.
Another testament to the ingenuity of Haitians. While litter and pollution is unfortunately a big problem in Haiti, some choose to look at it in a completely different way. The ability to make do with whatever they have is one of the things I love most about Haitians. Some would see litter, this person chose to see an opportunity.
After the beach, we went back to the church to meet with the youth (young adults). We were not aware that they had planned a little competition, and we were definitely not prepared. But after they had performed a couple of songs, Bailey, Maddie, and MacKenzie stepped up and got the team started. After that, it was just singing and laughter. Word of advise, don’t ever try to take Hunter in musical chairs, he is a beast.
Toward the end, the Haitian youth performed a song in Kreyol that we recognized, and many of us were singing along in English. They asked us to sing the English version, and afterward, we all decided to sing them both together. It was a great moment, and the entire activity just reminded us that we are different, but in so many ways we are the same. One of our translators often uses the phrase “Praises go up, blessings come down”. That is definitely what was happening here today.
I have been so impressed with this team so far. In Haiti, time is considered an unlimited resource. They don’t think they can waste it, there is always more. Things seem to move at a different pace. But even for them, there are some things that are a high priority, and that is what the Pastor preached on today from Matthew 24:42-43. Paske nou pa konnen ki jou Mèt nou va vini. Because you don’t know which day your Lord is coming. Keep praying that we continue to build relationships and show God’s love as our time here grows shorter.
– Dave Breaux, Haiti Mission Trip Leader