This morning I got to catch part of the Faith Promise message before leaving for church in Haiti. It is silly, but we take great pleasure in knowing that anyone who looks at the map of viewers currently online will see us. Even though we are away, our church provides a way for us to still be a part of it.
Then we split into two groups and went to different churches. At our church, there was a group of young ladies that performed a special song, followed by a group of young men. The young men told the church before they started singing to pay close attention to the words, that the church might learn something. Of course, I don’t understand much of what they sang about, but the translator said it was about people who say they are Christians but are not.
People don’t often think of worship songs as a sermon, but I do believe that is the way this one was intended. In Paul’s first letter to Timothy , he wrote “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
(1 Timothy 4:12). Today I saw a young man living that verse. I was impressed by his boldness to stand up there and deliver it the way he did. It says a lot for the future of this church in the Guillem area of La Croix to have young people who are not afraid to speak such truth.
The Pastor of the church asked if I would give a short message about families. Afterward, a young couple came forward for baby dedication. And as this young boy was brought before the church, it just reminds me that, though the miles and an ocean separate us, we have the same problems, the same concerns, and are blessed to work through them by the same God. And whether you are in the United States or in Haiti, it takes the whole church working together to build a community.
After lunch we worked on our Creole lessons. Our team leader talked to us about the origins of our language difficulties. We talked about the story in Genesis where the people built the tower of Babel, and God came down, confused their languages, and scattered them throughout the earth. Thinking back about today in church, we marveled at the sound of two different languages singing the same song at the same time. When they were building the tower of Babel, they were trying to make a name for themselves. The different languages were meant to keep them from trying to do that again. But when those languages are used to lift up the Name above all Names, those two languages, though different, worked perfectly together.
Afterward, we met up at a church with a familiar member of the leadership council that we had not had a chance to see yet. We got to see Pastor Michele, and even got to meet his wife. The relationships I have developed with the people in Haiti are definitely what I treasure most about being able to keep returning to the same place.
Later we met with a group of young adults for a culture exchange. They told us the story of their independence. Pastor Daniel read from some notes, and when he was finished, a young man stood up and pointed out some details he felt were missed. When we were asked to share our story of Independence, we realized that we did not know near the amount of detail as they did. I wonder if, as the generations go by, if they will start to lose some of the detail like we have. As time goes by, we start to take it more for granted.
It reminds me of the song that the young men sang this morning. Sometimes the farther we get from our salvation, the more we take it for granted. Some of the passion starts to go away if you don’t find a way to feed that fire. I imagine that is what Jesus was describing in his letter to the church of Laodicea in Revelation. That they were lukewarm – neither hot nor cold.
For me, Haiti is one of the things that feeds my fire. I am forever blessed by the time I spend here, and the people I met here. I am renewed, ready to bring that passion back home.
Thankfully, we still have a few days left, and no day would be complete without experiencing a little bit of the joy that fills the children of Haiti. As we left the church where we met the young adults, there were children playing outside. I love the way our team feeds off each other – Janey grabbed a translator to ask the kids if they know how to play tag. The next thing we know, she goes flying past us with a trail of kids running behind her. Pretty soon, several other team members have joined in, creating something that looked a little less like tag, and a little more like capture the foreigners. But a lot of fun, either way, and a great way to end our day.
Written By: Dave Breaux