Saturday, November 11, 2017

Service and Serving

It was a day to rise early.  We were up before the crack of dawn to be at a church service that started at 6 am.  The team attended Church on the Rock, which has several differences from Incarnation both architecturally and what happens during the service.  The church building has no doors.  It is a large single room roughly the size of our sanctuary and Grace Hall put together.  This room has a balcony as well.  When we arrived we were greeted by music and preaching, not because we were late, but because the “warm up act” was already underway.  With loudspeaker cabinets half the size of a semi-trailer and the watts to bring them to life, worship at Church on the Rock is LOUD.  What we missed in translation we gained in volume.

There were about 300 people at the service, and about 50 of them were seated.  The majority were on their feet walking up and down the aisles, between the rows and even outside the church engaged in prayer, listening to the words and music coming from the stage.  They worship in a much more animated way than the typical service at Incarnation (OK, any service at Incarnation).  These are people who come to church before going to work, or going on with the rest of their day.   It was interesting to see how other people conduct their worship, and humbling to see how many people make daily worship a part of their regular lives

After the service we enjoyed a walk back to the guesthouse on the neighborhood streets.  It was much more active than when we rode to the church on the tap-tap.  Many people (most?) walk to their daily destinations of work or school.  

Our first service opportunity was at No Place Like Home orphanage.  We presented the Bible story of Jesus calling his disciples where they were out in a boat, and while Jesus was sleeping a storm comes up that rocks the boat and it drenches the boat’s passengers.  But Jesus wakes and calms the storm.  In our presentation of the story, the tempest was brilliantly played by Pastor Gary Medin, with a squirt bottle.  The story was brought to life by our interpreter, Valery, and the kids loved it.  The Activities team put together other fun stuff for the kids as well.  We had soccer balls, plus arts and crafts and sidewalk chalk to leave with them to play with after we had gone on our way.  We also sang several songs with them, and in return, the kids sang a song for use in Creole.

Our second service stop of the day was at Mephibosheth Orphanage for special needs children.  We did the same Bible story including a repeat performance by hurricane Gary, and sang some with them as well.  But there were also some differences.  We had more time to spend with this group of kids and we had balloons to blow up for them, face paints, and bubble soap.  So we had a great opportunity to play with the kids, and be kids ourselves.  We were treated to 2 songs by a young  lady who lives at Mephibosheth who sang like an angel.

We ended the day with thought-provoking devotions, sharing what we as individuals have learned from Haiti and how we hope to bring a part of Haiti home with us.  It is clear that what we’ve seen and done in Haiti is messing with our hearts, bodies, minds  and spirit.

It was a great day for the team here in Haiti.  We got several chances to learn more about the culture and daily lives of Haitians, and to serve more of God’s children.  The weather is typically blazing sun and plenty hot (for Minnesotans), but we’ve been blessed with overcast and cooler weather that has been very easy to tolerate. Except for the occasional rain squalls caused by hurricane Gary.   

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