Alo! Mwen rele Bailey and mwen rele Amanda, the coolest kids in all the land. By “the land” we mean Haiti!
Today was our first full day in ]eanton. We woke up to a beautiful country, ready for a day of giving ourselves to what God would have for us and the community we’re partnering with.
Immediately after we stepped off the bus, having arrived at church, all of our fears of cultural barriers were diminished. We were greeted by leaders in the church with many handshakes and hugs. The church was FILLED with people ready to give all of themselves in worship. As soon as we sat in the pews, a general sense of awe and astonishment fell upon the group as we witnessed and worshiped with people in the Jeanton community. To say that the worship was radical would be an understatement, depriving the church of the true glory that took place in that room. The Holy Spirit fell upon us and we felt so loved and accepted by both the people of the town and our Heavenly Father. Towards the middle of the service, we were invited onto the platform by the pastor of the church. We got to introduce ourselves and sing two of our favorite songs. To be able to eliminate language barriers from English to Creole and vice versa was one of the most beautiful moments of the day. The community is unashamed and uninhibited in their love and expression for Christ, which was so encouraging.
After church, we got to meet with some leaders of the community through The Leadership Council, better known as the “LC”. This counsel consists of residents and leaders of Jeanton who desire to see positive change in their environment. We had an opportunity to sit with them for an hour and simply ask questions and answers theirs. This was so refreshing for us, as it completely eradicated the idea that we were coming in to save this community. The honest truth is that they already have help through groups like the LC. We are simply here to partner with them to better serve the neighborhood that they know so intimately. It was wonderful to simply speak face to face with people about difficult issues, such as a daily lack of water (that most Jeanton residents experience) or how the United States differs from that of Haiti. It was a fruitful time with wonderful people who welcomed us into the conversation like we were home in Jeanton.
Next, we went along with some of the children in the community as well as translators and the LC to do house visits. In this time, we went door to door and spoke with the members of the households, asking questions and offering prayer. Everyone was extremely receptive and delighted in the opportunity to receive prayer. We met so many inspiring people with real needs, both spiritual and physical. Luckily, God is the Lord of all, and we were able to convey that through bold prayers. We were joined on these visits by some of the children who we later spent time with back at the church. This experience is one we won’t forget, as it touched all of us in a deeply personal way, reassuring us that God adores His people with a fierce love.
Through games of soccer, handshakes, hair braiding, and very limited Creole, we were blessed with an amazing day of laughter and joy with the local children. Once we finished the home visits, we went back to the church and played with the them for a couple of hours. The love that God has placed in all of their hearts is so evident in their willingness to play and spend time with foreigners like us. Never had any of us thought we would already have friends in Haiti on day one. They have encouraged us to live with a childlike excitement and celebration of Jesus.
All in all, it’s been hard for us to put into words how amazing today was. God is continuing to challenge our expectations with new and real convictions. We hope that you’ll continue to pray for us, as we meet with the school children for the first time tomorrow. We cannot wait to love these kids and show them the goodness of Jesus. From us in Jeanton to you, bon nwi!