I can’t believe we are half way done our trip. This whole experience has been life changing and I can’t wait to share more when I get back to Canada.
Today we went to Haitian church. Unfortunately with the language barrier we had no idea what was said but it was amazing to see the love the Haitians have for God. They invited us to come up and do worship. Jon played the guitar and Cady and Toby sang my redeemer lives. During the service Nicole and I had the privilege to have a little girl probably about 2 years old sit with us during the 3 hour service. Holding that little girl really touched my heart, just having her sitting on my lap, holding my hand and putting her head on my shoulders makes you realize that children are all the same no matter where they live or what path they are down they just want to be loved. It makes me want to go home and do more work with children.
After church we went back to the hotel for lunch and to pack and prepare ourselves for Church on the Beach at the Joy in Hope property. Toby, Josh and Jon played the guitar and Daniel Adam R and Gayly (our Haitian friend from Joy in Hope) played the drums. We were able to sing 9 songs with them. This experience was wonderful as well because we were able to meet other missionaries who were here in Haiti and we were able to share our stories with each other. After the service we went down to the Beach where Ron C took out his camera and took photos of each team member individually and group shots out on the ocean during sun set.
After Church on the beach we were invited to the Mangines house for dinner. It was great to spend some time there. Toby broke out into dance moves at first with some of the children and before you knew it everyone and I mean EVERYONE was in the kitchen dancing to Usher and Justin Bieber. My mom (Ann) got some of it on video before she was pulled onto the dance floor. So we can show you some of it when we get back. I think everyone on the team can say they will never forget this moment being in Haiti in a Small Kitchen dancing away with Haitian children with smiles across their faces, and holding our hands. It was a real blessing to be a part of it.
Well its almost bed time, maybe tonight I won’t get woken up in the middle of the night to Nicole jumping up and trying to save me because she thinks I’m falling off the bed when I roll over. We had some good laughs about it in the morning. Anyways we go back to work tomorrow digging away at the driveway. I’m excited to do more work on the property.
Alex, if you see this I miss you and can’t wait to see you. You would be so proud of me I’m eating fish(the whole fish head and all, well it came that way but I ate a little) as well as chicken that aren’t boneless. So now we can actually go for chicken wings and fish and chips when I get back home.
SEE YOU ALL IN ONE WEEK!
OH MY! Where do I even start? Today was an amazing day filled with laughs, joy, rest, unity, and most importantly, God. We started our day off bright and early with a 7am breakfast followed by our team meeting and then we were off to church soon after. I felt the overwhelming strength of the Holy Spirit almost as soon as I walked through the doors. In Haiti church lasts for 3 hours and in the hot sun, you might think that listening to words that you can’t understand might be a little out there. However, this was not the case. We were greeted with smiles, compassion and love. As the service started there was no choir but different sections of the congregation that would rise to their feet and sing their hearts out. The most humbling part however, was when a Haitian man sitting next to me motioned towards his song book and asked me to sing along. By this portion of the service everyone was on their feet and singing together. Even though I could only make out a few of the words I tried my best to sing along and I couldn’t help but feel the power of the Holy Spirit move through me and the people as a whole. God is so much bigger then language barriers and whether I understood what was being said or not, I still felt His presence and power. Later on in the service the pastor of the church invited our group to “present”. Not knowing what that meant; Duane in the organized chaos, called me, Toby, and Cady Matthews to the stage to “present” a worship song. When I walked onto the platform I was able to use an electric guitar. I have never played electric guitar in front of anyone before let alone a full Haitian congregation. At this point I was starting to worry a little bit. However, God is good and in the few seconds Toby and I were given to choose a worship song we chose “My Redeemer Lives” and it went great! After that we went back to our seats and enjoyed the rest of the service. It was relieving knowing that not only did we have the Haitian church praying for us but so many others back home doing the same. God hears our prayers no matter where we are. After church we had a lot of time to eat lunch and relax until we realized that we didn’t have lyrics for the 9 worship songs we chose for our second church service of the day, Church on the beach. We spent a little over an hour writing, by hand, 15 copies of each song. I’ll let you do the math. Even though there was stress and conflict over how to tackle the job, we came together as a team and got to the beach on time. When we arrived we met all kinds of long and short term missionaries. It was nice to converse and share stories with many English speaking people. Toby and I were again called to the bar, this time to lead a whole worship set. Again in the organized chaos that we are working in, God showed up. In between songs many people shared testimony and reasons why they were in Haiti. It was reassuring to know that other people were just as far out of their comfort zone as I am. The speaker was especially inspiring when he spoke about what we need to do to prepare for mission work. He spoke about putting on the armor of god and using it to protect and shield us. This is so important when going so far out of your comfort zone. I really feel like I need to rely on God while on this trip and through wrestling with letting God use me to glorify him, I am truly growing. After leaving the Church on the beach we went for dinner at the Mangine’s for BBQ chicken and man was it great! I couldn’t have thought of a better way to end the night than a dance party in their kitchen which, funny enough, started with Toby trying to get a glass of water and ended with more than 20 bodies dancing in one very stuffy room. All in all, today was an amazing day that was just what we needed to spiritually and physically prepare for another long day tomorrow. God is Good.
p.s Ben, I bought a little wooden pig to commemorate my “incident”, you will be happy to know I named him after you and he’s not nearly as scary as the real one.
Lots of Love: Jon Park