Kathy W. reminded us a quote that says: There’s the gift of evangelism and not everyone has it but we can all be a witness.
Andrew M. — “Being witness is not necessarily sharing the gospel it is showing love to all people and one another.”
Patrick – Just be willing to connect and be genuine and smile!
Billy – Open your eyes and look at what’s around you in Haiti.
We started our first full day in Haiti with 3 local church services. Our first service began bright and early at 6am and although we couldn’t understand all of the creole spoken at each service, you could feel their love for God in their prayers, heart songs, and testimonies. It was beautiful knowing that they were worshiping the Lord in another language. It’s like the verse “every tongue, every tribe, every nation will praise Him”. During the last service, Medical Team left to set-up the clinic in preparation for tomorrow while everyone one else attended the last service.
Lunch was a real treat! None of us had ever eaten at lunch at the UN compound (it was a first time even for veteran Haiti trip members!) and since we travel in a massive group of 40, it’s one of the few places that could accommodate our large group while also serving authentic Haitian food.
With our bellies full of tender beef and turkey, rice with beans, and salad, we hopped onto our tap-taps (Haitian Taxis) to visit the Haiti National Museum (another first for everyone on our team). Despite being a small museum, it was filled with the rich history of Haiti’s independence. We also got to see Christopher Columbus’ Santa-Maria ship anchor when he landed in Haiti. Unfortunately, the museum didn’t allow us to take any photos but it just means we get to share it with you all in person.
Mid-afternoon, we rode for an hour up a mountain to visit the peak. It provided a beautiful view of the Haitian shore and the vast towns below. It’s crazy how the air shifts from warm to cool and how shacks turned into mansions as we drove further and further up to the mountain. In many ways, it represents the discrepancy between Haitian rich and poor and how there’s not really a “middle class” in Haiti.
As Andrew Moore shared in his devotional, the mountain top was an example of the Acts 1:8 verse, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” When we looked at the vastness of Haiti from the mountaintop, we could see the ends of the earth. In many ways, Andrew shared how Haiti is like being in the “ends of the earth” with Haiti being a different culture, lifestyle, and way of worship than we’re used to. Andrew asked us, what does it mean to be here in Haiti? Acts 1 was the final word the disciples received from Jesus before he left them and was crucified. Our challenge for tomorrow as we begin our first day is “how will we express and establish connections, in our immediate circles (our team) and external circles (our new relationships with Haitian friends)?” After our busy day site-seeing, we returned to the compound and each team prepared for their first big day tomorrow. Medical team counted and bagged hundreds of pills, VBS practiced their dance moves for their lessons, and construction was ready to go!
Lord, continue to open our eyes and see what’s around us while we’re here. Pour into us as we pour out to those we serve. Be our strength when we are weak, tired, or frustrated. May we remember this is all for You alone!
Those were all food for thought as we prepared for our first work day!