Yesterday morning, we attended our very first Haitian church service. We weren’t sure how many people would be out as it had been raining heavy for awhile and was still very overcast and misty outside. Karen said we may get very few out to church. She explained Haitians do not like to go out in the rain. They do not have such a thing as raincoat. Most of the children do not have clothes to change into when they get wet. There were a few waiting for us when we arrived at the church and more trickled in as we went along. In total, there were about 48 people, which was great considering the weather.
Karen addressed the crowd, asking how many people are here that you don’t know – getting an answer from all of “Two blanc!” So she explained who we were. A couple of ladies led us in worship. The entire experience was very different from what we are used to in our Nova Scotia church. We were both handed tambourines, which we were happy to play, as we had a hard time following the words of the songs – this helped us take part in the worship even though we couldn’t sing along. Some of the children played drums. The church is not wired with speakers – but it doesn’t need to be because they definitely have volume! Haha!
Stephen preached a short message from Philippians 3:13-14 and Karen translated for him. He said it was different to preach and have to stop along the way to allow for a translator, but he managed to not get lost. It sure takes a lot more words to say something in Creole than it does in English! Everyone seemed to enjoy the message. A few of the girls sang some songs, Sandra did a little song all by herself, and the entire HATS group of children sang a lovely song as well. We loved watching the children worship!
|Stephen giving message in church|
Yesterday afternoon, we played with some of the children in the devotional room. They all loved looking at the books – some of them did nothing else the whole time! We loved seeing them so enthralled with the books – even though they sometimes couldn’t read the words. They all loved pointing out the letters and numbers that they knew in the books. They also love to play with little animals and to colour.
|Markenson loves playing with little animals|
|Colouring is always enjoyed|
|Sonson enjoys playing by himself with little cars|
This morning we went over to the school to say hello to some of the children while they were out on recess. They were all very excited to see us and we got lots of hugs and cuddles. Many of them enjoyed playing with Stephen’s beard. They were fascinated! We couldn’t stay long, but it was wonderful to see so many happy, joyful children all at once!
|Recess for little ones|
|Little kids all trying to touch Melissa during recess|
We are loving our time here at HATS. We only have a few days left, but we definitely plan on making the most of it. Happy Leap Year!
Stay tuned for another blog to come!
~Stephen and Melissa