Jose, Mikela, Rosie, Malaya, and I went to the Mole on Friday. Momma Gigi, Benna, and Jessica & Brandon (who run the Port-de-Paix campus) went with us too. We left at noon and were hoping to be there by 5pm. It was 7pm before we rolled into town. There has been so much rain over the last several days. There were places where we had to stick rocks under the wheels of the truck to keep it from sliding down the muddy mountains. It seemed like it was one thing after another –as we were trying not to literally be a “stuck in the mud”!
There are 2 rivers we cross. The river at Jean Rebel was up some. To pass this river you have to actually drive IN IT for about 1/3 of a mile. Jose and Brandon were knee-deep walking in front of us to make sure there weren’t any places where we might get stuck. Funny enough once the driver felt comfortable- he drove right by them in the river!
I have never drove into the Mole at night. It starts getting dark here around 6:30pm. You drive down the mountainside to enter the Mole. At the peak we could see this quiet little town – all lit up with street lamps. Even in the dark – it was beautiful.
We ate at the pastor’s house and then went to the hotel to sleep. The next morning we went to look at the house we rented. The first floor is ready to move into. The kitchen area upstairs wasn’t fixed yet – although they were in the process of pouring it. The steps that lead to the house are dangerous but they are working on that. There is water in the house now!! We can’t drink it but at least we can flush toilets and take showers! Even though we are ready to move here – it’s probably going to be mid-June before the house is safe for our crazy crew of kids.
Capital Area Christian Church (CACC) headed our way on Saturday. We spent most of the morning on the beach playing with the kids while we were waiting for them. Around noon we went back to the hotel to prepare for the team. They were at Beauchamp and should have gotten here within 3-4 hours. It took them 6 hours! They were pretty wiped out when they arrived. Their necks, arms, and knees were sunburnt – I mean fire-red! Yet they didn’t complain. I was actually pretty impressed by that. We took them to the pastor’s house to eat and then to the beach for a little playtime.
There is nothing like watching a sunset on the Mole beach. I’m telling you – it doesn’t get more peaceful than that. Looking at the sky – there were a dozen shades of pink and purple – the water was crystal clear – and the clouds felt within reach. You couldn’t look at that masterpiece of beauty and not believe there’s a magnificent God up there!
This was our first Sunday in the Mole so we got to experience our first church service. God really spoke to our family during the service. He revealed to us another reason we are supposed to be here in the Mole. Anyone who participates in a Haitian Worship Service knows that it’s unlike any other service you’ve been to. The spirit of God is so readily felt and evident in the people who praise Him here.
This is what we were expecting this Sunday. Sunday School is from 8-9am and church is from 9-10am. A normal church service lasts several hours in Haiti. We weren’t complaining that it was only an hour! We made it for Sunday School where there were about 10 children/youth gathered. Then at 9am there were another 20 men and 3 women. They started the service with two songs, then offering, reading scripture, then the sermon. They ended with prayer.
The church lacked spunk. They sang because that’s what they were supposed to do – but it didn’t feel like they were singing out of pure adoration for their Father. They were tired. The pastor seemed discouraged. Right after the scripture was read Momma Gigi asked the pastor if she could sing since there weren’t any specials. He agreed. Before she sang she gave a small talk about how amazing our God is. Because she’s alive today – she sings praise to Jesus Christ as not everyone woke up this morning. Finally – there was an AMEN. People began to shout out as she testified! They were clapping their hands as she sang and the church felt alive again.
As the church started to make some noise I noticed a few people standing outside on the street. They were not dressed in church clothes. In fact two of them were barefoot. I think the noise drew them to the house. We simply invited them to come in – they shook their head out of shame as they pointed to their clothes- and then I grabbed their hand and brought them inside the gate.
We talked to the pastor after the service and he thanked us so much for coming. He said it’s been a really hard year for him and he’s felt so beaten. We talked with him and asked him if he ever challenges the church people? He didn’t understand. I asked him do you ever ask them to bring their friends next week? Do you ever tell them that this week you want them to work on forgiveness, love, self control, or patience? In essence – do you give them homework each week? No. He didn’t even think about that. He asked us to please help him.
We sat for 2 hours after church and talked about the ways we could help grow the church and it’s people. They offer nothing in the way of children’s church, youth group, or women’s Bible study. All those avenues are ways to bring people into the church and to grow the church family. The pastor’s entire demeanor changed by the time we were finished talking. He was so excited about what he could do now. All he needed was some encouragement and some ideas. He asked Momma Gigi when we move here if she will lead the singing for the services. She lit up like a Christmas tree. It was such an honor to be asked.
Our family and employees alone will double the church attendance. Jose and I have offered to start a children’s church so we can really reach the younger children and teach them. I will also help the pastor’s wife start a women’s bible study. My mom and I ran the Dorcas Group here in St. Louis several years ago. I have had many years of experience helping my mom. I never would have imagined that 4 years later I would be running one of my own. Funny how God equips us when we least expect it!! Lastly – Madame Nene and her husband will work with the youth.
Don’t get us wrong – we don’t want to come in and take over – we want to come alongside and encourage. Encouraged they were. The pastor’s wife was in tears as she hugged Momma Gigi. She told her that God sent us to them – to this town. If they thanked us once – they thanked us 20 times for coming and for spending time fellowshipping with them personally.
Just as they felt encouraged today – so did we. It’s just another way God is affirming our call here. We are excited about really being involved. We didn’t really do that in St. Louis. A long time ago, Jose and I led the teen service on Sundays. But it’s probably been 5 years since we did that. We (ourselves) have become complacent on Sundays. We go to church because we’re supposed to – much like the people here in the Mole. We had lost our fire. But seeing what all we could do here for Him – wow – it really has ignited a flame! We are SO excited about Sundays again!!
I don’t know where you are today – if you’re on fire for Jesus or just trying to keep the flames from going out. Wherever you are – nothing will change if YOU don’t! There’s something to be said in actively seeking and then leading on His behalf. We are missionaries wherever we live. If you’ve become complacent in your walk – then it’s time to hit His Holy Gym – Get Pumped Up on Him – AND…… STEP…… IT….. UP!