Haitian Church

Going to a Haitian church is such a beautiful experience. We volunteers go to a little Baptist church of around 100-150 people just down the hill from the guest house (I’m great at guessing approximate numbers, as you can tell). Since my last trip to Haiti, the church has moved from a small building to being held under a large tent.

Yesterday was an especially meaningful service. It was Haitian Mothers’ Day, and the children sang to their moms. The inside of the tent was decorated with various balloons that made us laugh, including “Get Well” and American Airlines balloons.

As one of the ladies was talking up front, she suddenly started talking in English, asking “how are you?” It took me a minute to register that she was talking to us three English people. She had each of us stand up and say our names, then told us that if we are mothers (which none of us are), she hoped we had a happy mother’s day. Then the entire church sang their “Welcome, Sisters” song in Creole to us. Their joy and welcoming spirit made my eyes water.

Each of the Sunday School classes, including the adult classes, stood up and recited their memory verses. We sang both French and Creole hymns from their hymnbook, and they helpfully pointed us to the right pages for the songs. We sang “And Can It Be” in French—the tune was even the same as our English version.

The passion of this church is incredible. They start singing songs from memory, repeating the same words over and over like reciting a prayer. Two men got up and led in this continuous song-prayer, a compilation of songs that they sang while they kneeling on the ground of gravel.

The sermon was from Philippians 3:7-8. Even though I couldn’t understand the majority of the sermon since it was in Creole, I did understand a few of the French phrases. It’s so beautiful to hear the gospel preached in another language. They welcomed us as sisters in Christ, and it reminded me how beautiful it is that even though we speak different languages and live in drastically different cultures, we share the most important bond possible—our love for Jesus.

As we left church, we introduced ourselves to one of the girls leaving at the same time. Using our minimal Creole, we found out that her name is Jasmine (the same name as one of the other volunteers), and she’s nineteen, like me. She pointed us to her home as we walked up the hill, what we would call a small shack in the US, and we parted ways. We’re the same age, and we serve the same Jesus.

Cross-cultural unity in the body of Christ is such a precious blessing. I’m so thankful to catch glimpses of it during my time here.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Sara Glaser
    Jun 01, 2015 @ 19:06:37

    Beautifully expressed, Jessica! So grateful you have the opportunity to experience what many never do.


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