Thor Church-First Few Magical Days
Apr 12, 2011
We loaded all of our gear and headed to the Church. The traffic was heavy, lots of horns honking, people selling fruit, clothes, shoes on the dusty uneven streets. There was garbage and rubble everywhere. We saw goats, dogs, and even pigs with piglets rooting in the garbage and walking the streets. It smelled strongly of fumes, garbage, and urine. It was shocking to all of us.
Upon arrival, the people were so inviting and happy to see us, blowing us kisses and touching our hair. In particular they liked Bob's white hair. The first gentleman I saw was a man named Davidson who lives in a tent and has no family. He is deeply religious and says that Jesus has a plan for him.
Despite the vast devastation and poverty, the Haitans are rich in faith and spirit, exemplified, for example, by their 4am daily church services. We are woken daily by their lovely singing. There is so much to report, I am simply list the highlights below:
- Lunch at the local restaurant; after awhile we finally found out you pay, then get your food. Choices were; spaghetti (which was really 6 meatballs, no noodles :) and Mikes two pieces of pizza that took 27 minutes to make.
- The Sunday service at the church was amazing and very uplifting with the Holy Spirit in our presence. The scriptures were: Psalm 40 vs. 17, 1st Cornithians 12 thru 26, and John 11; 11 - 17. The singing was very uplifting, joyful with hands in the air giving praise. Sung from the heart with soul. One of the highlights was when our interpreter Lemaire sang in Creole "The Old Rugged Cross". Christi gave the sermon based on Lazarus and Lemaire intrepreted in Creole. Her theme was "Best of All, God is with us". She told us that this was a quote from John Wesley; when she said "John" everyone shouted "Wesley" in unison. She told the congregation that "at this very moment, the members of our congregation in North Carolina are praying for you" ( that was at 10:55 and the service lasted 2 1/2 hours). She was very passionate, with the message we are all united in Christ. She was relaxed, spoke from the heart and delivered the message without any notes. We were all very, very proud of her in her first sermon as an ordained minister.
- After the service was over, everyone was very eager to welcome us and shake our hands, giving thanks. They are happy we are here.
- I had the honor of giving out easter eggs, gum and lollipops to at least 80 children.
- There is a beautiful three year old boy who lives at the church with his Grandparents. We called him Kristoff but later found out his real name is Klavenski. He is very precious and we have all become attached to him. His parents are deceased.
- Sunday afternoon we rented a "Tap Tap" truck. Basically a small pick-up truck. We fit 14 people in the back and 3 in the front. The ocean was beautiful and it was so nice to see the Haitian people enjoying themselves, laughing, playing ball, swimming.
- First thing Monday morning we started our work on the church. Our job is to repair the church altar, pulpit and choir loft. Initially it was all stone and rubble. The group before us knocked out the foundation and our job was to put in a new floor. We formed what we fondly called a 'bucket brigade". We passed buckets of concrete alongside the hired Haitian workers and members of the congregation who showed up to lend a hand. Today we completed the pulpit and began work on the choir loft.
- Dr. Bob and i were asked to help Pastor Jacob go to purchase a mattress for he and his pregnant wife. Bob and I thought we were going to be solely responsible for helping to lift and transport, though God had another plan. The first place we went to was a small room that looked like a back alley mechanic shop with mattresses stacked one on another. When Pastor Jacob asked the price they quoted 6,400 Haitian dollars which is equivalent to $800. My first comment was "that is an expensive mattress". We left that place and went to a second mattress warehouse where a special code was required to enter. The salesman at first approached Pastor Jacob who turned to Bob for advice. But Bob laughed and had not a clue because his wife normally does the shopping. I chimed in and was able to offer to advice based on my angel tree purchasing experiences. I suggested 20% off and ultimately the seller agreed on the price of 2,000 Haitian dollars which Pastor Jacob was thrilled with.
- The children love being near us and playing games with us. They are so precious. Popular games include, soccer, blowing bubbles, piggyback rides, reading, drawing and patty-cake.
Thank you all for praying for us, we feel your prayers. We are all physically and emotionally well, empowered beyond words by this experience. We feel the Lords presence as we serve these very gracious and inspiring people.
Repectivley submitted by Sarah, Amy and Jill.