Howdy from Haiti!
Hey ya’ll this is Taylor H. with your blog today. We started the day off with breakfast and church. Katherine, Daniel, Landon, Kelvin, and I took on kids church, which consisted of 25 little Haitian kids along with our translators. After our bible stories about “our favorite animals” and Noah, we spent time coloring and singing with the kids. It was really cool to get to spend some time with kids and just laugh with them. Though I wasn’t there, I could hear the adult sermon, and the blend of Haitian and American worship ringing, the sound was both very different and very beautiful.
After church we got to visit the orphanage nearby and see all the progress that had been made, and once again, got to play and love on the kids. Afer we headed back, it was lunch time (lobster sandwiches Haitian style) and orientation time, where Jody explained a bit about the culture, their view of us, and most importantly their beliefs. I was blown away when Jody discussed the topic of voodoo and the many different practices of the culture. As well as worshiping God, the Haitian culture also make sacrifices to Satan for fear that Satan is more powerful than God, or vice versa. Jody went on the explain that many of them view us as angels from Heaven (or Miami as they call it). I can say that hearing this definitely impacted me, and it’s a safe bet that it impacted the rest of them team as well. It made me realize that everything we do here, whether we think anyone is watching or not – is one of the few reflections of Christ’s love that many of the Haitians will see (Spiritual self check for sure).
The rest of the day was spent in fellowship. Many people rested or played guitar. A group of us went down and played soccer with the village kids, who were definitely very athletic, giving all us white kids a run for our money. We’re wrapping up the day eating dinner, and preparing for our first day of getting our hands really dirty, can’t wait! Well that’s all I got folks! Mom and Dad, I love you guys and I’m alive :).
Always chasing the Son,
Hey everyone this is Audrey Whatley!
Since the lovely Miss Hanson already gave you guys a pretty detailed look at what the majority of the day entailed for us, I’ll just give a brief glance to what the day was like for me personally. After waking up to an absolutely outstanding pancake meal made by our wonderful cook crew, I along with the other ladies in the group, made the trek to the tented church.
I have never in all my life experienced such a free sense of worship. I didn’t understand a single word that was spoken, but I let it and felt it refresh my soul. Their spirits were so raw and open before the King. There was no one holding back, no hushed voices, no unmoved soul. Those who sang, sang using every ounce of breath. They were completely free and they worshiped as if they knew it. Praise completely meant for the King, not for the person beside them or for any self-glorification. It was inspiring to me and I’m sure to many others. It also presented a challenge to all of us to worship in the same unabashed and open way they displayed when we return home to our communities.
In between worship hymns, the preacher would say a few words that would move the congregation and spur them to respond with a chorus of “amen.” Then Taylor, one of our own, took the pulpit and gave a moving sermon about community and the body which emphasized the vital importance of reaching out to neighbors, loving our brothers and sisters by bearing one another’s burdens, and accountability. Afterward I went with a group to the nearby orphanage where we loved on the children and reunited with the babies we carried over on the bumpy bus ride.
When we returned back to the mission, we shared in a hearty lunch, heard a debrief from Jody and had the afternoon to choose for ourselves how we wanted to spend it. I took a trip around the town with a few others for about an hour. It was an eye-opening experience to see the people and witness how they lived and how they responded to us. With the few Haitian words we were able to slur out, we brought smiles and friendly greetings to the people we encountered. Then I’d like to say I spent more time soaking up the sun and engaging in heart-warming experiences with the children we met on the road, but instead I took a brief cat nap : )
And now, with our bellies full and hearts at rest, we are enjoying one another’s company listening to Chris Brooks strum on his guitar and allow our souls time to prepare to embrace tomorrow and continue loving these beautiful people in the same way our Savior loves each one of us every day. Thank you for your prayers and support! I love you Mom and Dad! Hunter, I miss you and stay strong. To everyone else, please keep lifting us up! Your prayers are felt and appreciated! : )
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Forever in Him,
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