This morning we awoke to the sounds of roosters outside our windows and voices in the kitchen. After a quick shower from a bucket--honestly one of the best feeling showers EVER, we sat down to a delicious display of beautiful fruits, freshly squeezed juice, and strong, incredible coffee. The rest of the morning was spent at our host's church: a swaying, smiling gospel choir, 3 baptisms, fruit and other food piled at the front of the church for a "harvest offering," a disaster repair fundraising competition, scripture reading of the beatitudes ("blessed are the poor and mournful" having new meaning...), and surrounded by children after the service asking to have their pictures taken. The sermon was given by our passionate hostess, and between our limited French during the service and recap in English over lunch, we heard her challenge her congregation to not simply grow old, but also mature in their faith by choosing willingness, discipline, and perseverance in their daily lives. She stressed the importance of maintaining a vital, growing relationship with God, as well as in community with the body of believers. Like the Jacmel team, many of us were overcome by chills and tears as we worshiped alongside our Haitian brothers and sisters. Witnessing their joy, hope, and unity was inspiring and humbling after being exposed to and overwhelmed by the seemingly hopeless and miserable circumstances that so many here still call reality. We continue to pray for direction in how we can individually and collectively support and encourage this country long after we return.
Today was truly a day of rest, and I pray we are able to tap into this store during the busy, stressful, or overwhelming moments that may arise during the unknown days ahead of us this week. We are all eager and anxious to put our hands to work in the morning.