Sunday, August 4th
Our team is starting to feel at home here. I can tell by the way they are interacting with the kids here and by the stories they share during our evening debrief time.
This morning we had the privilege to watch 5 people get baptized in the river, take part in the church service, and take the lords supper with this community (which I will not confirm or deny that they use real wine for communion). I think the general consensus with our team is we all love the way church is done here. It’s not perfect, it’s not flawless, it’s not a show…it’s a genuine celebration of who Christ is.
We watch people who have very little (and in most cases nothing) come empty handed and celebrate the Jesus who saves them. It was so simple and so perfect. We worshipped and we opened the word together. They celebrated our team for being here and we celebrated them for their faithfulness to Christ.
At the end of the service Pastor Delamy gave our team an opportunity to individually share the congregation anything that was on our hearts…anything to encourage the people of Terre Blanche. I was proud as Grant was the first person to jump up and head to the microphone. He faithfully and clearly praised the people for their faithfulness to Jesus and he shared that what he has seen here has proven Gods existence to him. He honored them well. Second, Leigh got up and read from Psalm 139 and encouraged them that God purposefully has all of them here and now for His glory. God doesn’t make mistakes. Next my jaw dropped as one our teams introverts boldly stood up and walked to the microphone. Evelyn stood confidently in front of everyone and proclaimed how beautiful these people are. She made reference to the name “Terre Blanche” as it means “white land”, which to the Haitian culture means its a poor, desolate place, a place that none one wants to go. She refused this idea about this town. She said that she sees joy, hope, and love. Then Abby jumped up and with tears in her eyes, struggling to get out her words, she perfectly told them how much they all have encouraged her. Lastly, Alyssa gently walked up and read from Isaiah 43: 1-4. She proclaimed that The Lord created and formed each one of us and that The Lord will redeem. This was a very proud moment in my tenure as youth pastor at Mosaic when they all shared.
This trip is proving to be a trip to go down in the history books…and it only day 2.
One last story. It was a big debate when we landed on Friday in Port au Prince what time it was. Some of us thought two hours in front of Portland time and some thought 3 hours. Last time I was here a year and a half ago the President decided a day before daylight saving, the day that we were flying out, that Haiti was going to start observing daylight savings (that want confusing at all). This year our team asked a few people on the airplane and we confirmed it with what time our fight was scheduled to arrive and it matched our phones (2 hours in front of Portland). Today, baptisms were supposed to be at 7am. At 6:15am Danaka, pastor Delamy’s daughter grabs all of us and says we’re leaving. I was still in my pajamas, on the roof, reading. I was totally confused…but summed it up as, it’s Haiti. We came back from baptisms and ate breakfast and were suppose to be at church at 9am. We, as a team, were place in a very honorable position as Pastor Delamy arranged for us all to sit on the stage looking out. At 8:30am we were all hanging out in our rooms and in the dining area as Danaka comes and gets us and says, “church already started.” What?! It’s only 8:30! No, we’ve been an hour off ever is since we got here and we never knew it. It was humbling experience to walk into church late. I am thankful Pastor Delamy is a gracious man.