So here I sit, on a porch swing in Labaleine, Haiti. The crickets, frogs, and whatever other creatures in nature are humming their sweet little tune–although, if I start listening too hard it can quickly get annoying. People are chatting in the kitchen. I can hear people talking out on the street in that beautiful language called Creole (I am pleased as pudding to announce that I can now understand at least 6 different words in Creole). We just finished a wonderful Sunday evening supper of soft pretzels, popcorn, and citron slushies. The air is cool. The fellowship is beautiful.
This place is beautiful. These people are beautiful. Bel, oui?
Frankly, I have absolutely no idea where to go with this blog post, but here goes…
Today was Sunday. Was it Sunday in the states, too?
I’m giggling up a storm over my last statement.
Today we were all privileged to experience a Haitian church service. There is something so amazing about being surrounded by people worshiping God in another language. The God that I worship is the same God that these people worship. The heavenly Father who knows my heart and my story is the same heavenly Father who knows their hearts and their stories. Friends, we serve a big God.
Please pause and chew on this for a wee bit: The God of all creation–who made the stars, who set the world into motion, who has so much creativity that He made different skin tones and languages–He loves you. He hears your prayers. Today in church there was a time of prayer and many people around the sanctuary were praying out loud. I just kept praying, “God, how do you do it? You are hearing all of these people. You are hearing me. How?” Friends, we serve a very big God.
During the church service, those who participated in the flag routine did an amazing job. We also performed a mime that Phil narrated in Creole. I felt like the congregation got joy out of what we did, which makes me happy. Directly after the church service we were treated to a Haitian feast consisting of a pasta salad, some vegetable salad with beets in it, goat, rice and beans, sauce for the rice, and the most delicious juice in the whole world (it is even better than cran-grape juice). The name of the juice spelled phonetically, to my understanding, would be granadjzia juice. Apparently in the states we call it passion fruit juice, which, let’s face it, is not nearly as cool as granadjzia juice. The food was delicious and everyone needs to ask Dawn about the interesting spices in the food.
In the afternoon, Phil and Emily took us on a little walk to visit with some of the people of Labaleine. I am going to try my best to bring you along. I’m going to change tenses right now as I bring you on our journey: We start walking, our feet getting dirty on the dusty road. First up hill, because that’s harder. We reach a small house surrounded by a fence made out of cacti. A smiling face greets us and welcomes us in. As fourteen people start trickling into a tiny room, fourteen chairs are pulled from so many different places so that each one of us will have a place to sit. Sheer green curtains billow in the doorway and window as the breeze passes through the house. Phil and the man of the house ramble on in Creole. We say good-bye and head down the other side of the hill. Around the corner at the water pump, we meet a woman that Emily used to work along side at the Dorcas Center (the sewing center here at HRM). Zach and Jamie carry her water back to her house. We visit for a little while. We keep walking over a dusty, rocky path. Watch out for the donkey. Deftly averted, well done. We keep walking, stopping at this house or that one to visit with people that Phil and Emily know. Some live in tarp covered shacks, others in cinder block houses. Melmin and Zack are handing out toy cars to littles. Noah and Ranita are handing out candy. Tom is giving fruit leather to eager little faces. The faces of these beautiful little people truly light up with joy. Let’s walk a little more. Tom, Noah, and Jamie decide to challenge three boys to a little game of soccer. The three little boys win. Shocker. We keep walking along a cactus boarded path and eventually make it beck the HRM.
Thanks for walking with me. I wish that you could really be here to see this place, these people.
This evening the ladies got our hairs did. Hence, the title of today’s blog post. We look pretty fly.
A quick update on our Ashlan Brooke: Her hand is quite swollen. She slept quite a while this afternoon and seems to be feeling much better. Please keep her in your prayers. This bee sting has been no fun.
As Zack said tonight as we sat down to eat dinner, “And just like that, another day in Haiti has come and gone.”
We love you and thank you for you for your prayers.
Much love from Haiti,