Written by Will Van Wyngarden on a current mission trip with PFH/HELP mission to Pignon.
Today was a day of many highlights. The hustle and bustle of the work we had done thus far was over, and we had our day of Sabbath rest. However, today was more jam-packed with moments of emotional impact than any day thus far. It would not be an exaggeration to say that it was one of the most important of my life.
Before I get into the day’s activities, I must describe a moment of levity from the previous night. It just happened to be Daylight Savings Time, so we knew we had to turn our clocks back. However, the concept is new in Haiti. It hasn’t been around for very long and it often takes a few days for it to take effect. We knew we had to be at church at 7:30 a.m., but we were unsure as to whether the church would start at the old 7:30 or the new! There was lively discussion as to when we should wake up, when we should go to church, or whether we would be late or early. We still hadn’t decided by Sunday morning, but we found out that Daylight Savings Time would be observed and we got to church on time.Zeke and Baby
We went to church with Zeke and Baby, two locals who are involved with the organization. We knew going in that we would be at a loss as to what was going on, as the service would be in Creole. Zeke would provide some translating, but he wouldn’t be able to do a complete play-by-play. But the pastor announced they would have a guest minister. A tall black man stood up and said “Good Morning” in perfect English! He then told the congregation that he was from Tennessee! So we got to hear a sermon in English. That was certainly a blessing.
But the biggest blessing was the message he gave. He spoke of how our actions and our lives reflect Jesus in us. We represent Christ to the world. And that is what we are trying to do in our time here in Haiti. We had been discussing that topic in our evening times. At the end of the sermon, the American pastor told us that he had not intended on preaching that sermon this morning. God was certainly at work!
It was an amazing feeling to sing familiar songs like “Beautiful Savior,” and “The Old Rugged Cross.” Though we weren’t singing in the same language, we were singing the same words, praising God together, a perfect picture of eternity. The music also brought some much-needed familiarity, even though they were accompanied by a band consisting of three trombones, two trumpets, and a clarinet in addition to the piano! We also were privileged to take Communion with them. Again, the Church universal was evident this morning as we enjoyed the Lord’s Supper with the Haitian people. It also may be the only time I take Communion with oyster crackers as the bread and Coke as the wine!View of Pignon from on top of the mountain.
After lunch a few of us hiked up the mountain to the Pignon sign. It is visible from our compound and about halfway up the peak. The view from the sign was incredible. The town sprawled out before us and we had a breath-taking view of the countryside.Sign for Haiti Home of Hope orphanage.
After our walk we got a chance to see the orphanage. 40 kids were housed there, on a beautiful campus with many nice, new buildings. The children there were full of such joy. They loved to play with us; however, it is safe to say that we enjoyed playing with them more. This orphanage visit was the highlight of my week thus far.
We then walked to Zeke and Baby’s house for supper. You must understand how honored they felt to have us in their home. But the pleasure was truly ours. It was humbling to hear them say how much they loved us and were honored by our presence. It is unusual for white people to venture into a Haitian home. But we were truly blessed by the experience. Zeke and Baby went to some expense to provide a meal for us and they were gracious hosts. Again, it was truly an amazing picture of our heavenly goal. There will be no need for interpreters, for we will all understand each other. Today I think we all experienced a little bit of heaven.