Last Sunday, we had the privilege of being part of the Harvest festival that they celebrate in the church here in Congrejo.
It is a common festival that is celebrated all throughout Haiti.
For this particular one, about 10 other churches of like mind and heart traveled to the church in Congrejo, where they each took turns introducing their pastors and performing a song or maybe even a dance to represent their congregation. This is also one of the few times a year when they take up a substantial offering to support the work of their church. Generally the pastors go unpaid and there are so few resources for people in general, the church "makes it" on a tiny budget. Especially in comparison to the affluent American church.
You can see here that the ladies brought fruit as a way of thanking God for provision.
It was really special.
I wouldn't have changed a thing about sharing that time of celebration with them.
But it was quite long...and hot.
About 3 hours of sitting down in a un-airconditioned building, with many other bodies.
They did pass out water as a special treat for this service. Hospitality and formality is a big deal in Haitian culture. They even had some members of the congregation wearing paper banners pinned to their shirts, written on with puffy paint,pointing them out as the hosts and hostesses for visitors.They consider it a real honor to be hosting other churches in their space, in their home church. They want badly to take great care of those visiting.
Who did fantastically...
Still got a bit weary
A bit tired...
And quite hot.
I think even Kassie was ready for a good breeze by the end.
Aslan handled the heat by making funny faces at friends across the aisle. It is,at the very least, distracting.
There were so many people,with all of the visitors, that most of the members who call Congrejo home simply watched the service from outside, under a tarp.
We have been enjoying the community in which we live immensely. It's been a perfect fit for us during this short time. And we've had the best time building relationships with those we call neighbors. The woman who lives above us has been the most wonderful blessing.
Even though we only have to drive 10 minutes down the road to Congrejo from where we are, it's a world apart from Sosua,culturally. One thing you can be praying about for us, is the desire to find a home closer to Congrejo. We have begun the search to secure a home for our stay here next year and have even found a home we consider to be perfect for our families needs. it's probably 3x the size of our current apartment,600 sq feet (which enables us to have teams stay with us in our home instead of a hotel),with ample security and a bigger yard and it's even cheaper than our tiny apartment. Best of all, it is about a 2 minute walk from Congrejo.
It was in that neighborhood that I met this cow.
There's just something about him,don't you think?
In fact, I do wonder what he is thinking.
The owners would love for us to rent but cannot keep the home available until next year,of course. You can be praying with us for our support raising in the coming months and also for this home to stay available if God desires that we call it home.
It is not uncommon at all for homes to stay empty for years and years around here, but this house is also a great deal so it's possible that it gets snatched up.
Pastor Clebert went with us to speak with the owners and we walked back together to enjoy some lunch together.
Noah's had the best time practicing Creole, and spending time building a friendship with Clebert. In fact, Clebert joins Noah this week on a trip back to Haiti. This is really exciting because this is exactly the heart of HaitiLove. That we would be able to encourage and build up Haitians,encouraging them to bring hope and change to their mother land of Haiti.
We have a few more weeks here and Noah will be busy with much traveling. Your prayers are much appreciated, truly.
If you don't pray, but you follow this blog because you are dear friends or because God has brought you here, thank you for caring about us enough to keep up with what may be considered a crazy life.
It's in the telling of our story that we see God's story for his people.