It was a sound that reminds me of the bible stories of choirs of angels that filled the air early in the morning. I thought it was the sound of a neighboring church but when we stepped outside to go to breakfast there surrounding the pool of the mission were people getting baptized and their families. There were about 50 plus getting baptized wearing white and a choir of ladies leading songs between each person, the families, church members, a tall striking man with grey hair, a kind face and a huge smile, he was the Pastor and along with his church elders, had entered the pool. It was an uplifting experience as we sat and watched person after person committing their lives and it made me think of some of the differences in our home church.
In Haiti – they sing hymns between the people,
In Canada – we clap and cry and sound like we are at a soccer game…cheering
In Haiti – the baptisms need to be done often because there are so many people wanting to be baptized
In Canada – we may have ten or more, gathered over a few months, could you imagine if we had 50 plus everytime! The cheering would be like the last Olympic hockey game.
In Haiti – everyone wears white and dress up to look their best that is cultural here
In Canada – we wear something more casual
In Haiti – being wrapped in a large white sheet by your family follows the symbolism of the water and the white dress
In Canada – the symbolism of the commitment is captured on video and forever by cameras
All and all we share the celebration, we share the prayers, and we share the singing and the thankfulness as God smiles down in Haiti, in Canada and across the world. United in one belief, one God and for the glory of Him. I spoke to a few after they had been baptized and wished I could have spoke to more, so many were excited they spoke so fast, I could hardly keep up. Many rejoiced when one lady who started speaking in tongues after her baptism, praised the Lord and danced around. One lady cried and shouted until they asked her to be quiet because she was so happy her husband had accepted Jesus and today had been baptized. She had prayed for him and God answered her prayers. So you see it is not that much about the similarities or the differences. I had forgotten I was in Haiti. I sat and just watched teary eyed and excited for each person and family and for every one of my new brothers and sisters. Singing songs of praise, shouts of praise and giving Him glory, a final prayer was read to signal the end of the service. As everyone returned to where ever they had come from, I came to understand that the day was not the same for me after that. The spirit of thankfulness had reminded me where I was, and the purpose in our coming; the people. I was able to see things through new eyes, His eyes. From that moment on I did not look at crumbled buildings as buildings but as the place where if walls could talk would tell of miracles, suffering, and even death. But walls that knew someone somewhere, was still praying for the people of Haiti.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His, we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all the generations.
With nothing left but the shirts on their backs in many cases, the people of Haiti are praising the Lord for His goodness and faithfulness!
So much to think about……C