Sunday, September 5, 2010

Haiti Day Four: Church and Kaliko

So I'd like to invite you to church with me. We'll be in a large open air concrete building, no air conditioning, no fans, near 100 degree temperatures. You'll be sitting hip to hip on hard wooden benches with no backs and at least one or two kids hanging on you or sitting on your lap. The service will be almost entirely in Creole. Oh... and it will last 3-1/2 hours. Any takers?

That's exactly what we did Sunday morning and guess what? In spite of every thing I've just told you, it was wonderful and one of the high points of this trip. The music and singing were lively. Everyone clapped and lifted their hands and danced. And they were very prayerful. And they wore their Sunday best. And it was packed. And when we let out, there was another group waiting to get in for the second service.

I wish I had pictures, but I just didn't want to disrupt the service and the worship. These people have a heart and a love for God like nothing I've ever seen. They may be the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere, but they are rich in spirit and I admire them for that.

After church, we left Gonaives and started the long drive back to Port au Prince. We had early morning flights to catch. We drove for nearly 4 hours and stopped at a place called Kaliko Beach Club.

It was beautiful and on the Caribbean Sea. It was hard to believe we were in the same country of poverty and destruction and garbage everywhere. We walked in the sand, some went swimming, dinner was a wonderful buffet. We had our final bead ceremony on the beach. I caught myself almost feeling guilty. But I think this stay was intentional, to teach us something. Haiti was once called the Pearl of the Caribbean. It was a beautiful, lush, tropical paradise. And there are a few places where you can really get a sense of how beautiful it could be there again with the proper care. Haiti is a country full of contrasts.

Haiti has been used and used by others until it is now seemingly all used up. It's time to give back. Time to take care of the people there. Time to take care of the children there and raise up a new generation who will love God and will love their country and the people there and who will fight to rebuild and make it what it once was.

I have been blessed to be a part of this team that went. It was hard. Probably the most difficult thing I've ever done. But in my weakness, God can do great things. And He did. He did a great work in my heart and I know I will never be the same. I thought I was going to Haiti to work and give, but I truly received so much more. We went to love the children, but the love they gave us was immeasurable. Haiti, in spite of the poverty and destruction and trash, is a beautiful, soulful place.

God is there.

I'm certain of it.

I can't wait to go back.

1 comment:

  1. Pearle, thank you for your wonderful documentation of this trip! You have a way with words and I have enjoyed reading your blog. Looking forward to sharing it with my friends and family.

    Your sister in Christ,