Monday, July 27, 2009

Haiti Update #9: “Offroading” in rural Haiti with Team Three

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The wind swirls outside our bedroom window and thunder booms in the distance, announcing an afternoon rain storm. On this Sunday, our third and final mission team from The Bridge church pauses for a siesta (cabicha in Kreyol). The team arrived early yesterday morning with all their bags in tow. What a blessing! (Unfortunately, the Music Team missed their flight because the small charter plane arrived late and they had to spend the night in Port Au Prince.)

This morning we attended pieces of three church services in rural Haiti. We were introduced here at the Pignon church where we were staying. Then we all piled in a large truck and headed for the hills. Most of the team tackled this *very* bumpy ride from the bed of the truck where they braced themselves on top of wooden benches. The kids, Brandy and I piled inside the truck with the driver.

The view included rolling green hills, cactus fences, naked children running down dirt roads next to pigs bathing in the mud and donkeys stumbling over rocks. We all drank in this time together for laughter (or screaming with joy in Dana’s case), good conversation and reflection. I especially enjoyed my time in the truck with Brandy Freeland – someone I’ve wanted to spend more quality time with but it took something like a mission trip to bring us together.

Our first stop was the Savanette Church to visit Pastor Mele and his little congregation of about 100. They welcomed our new team with their signature music. Nathan Freeland and Ericlee shared some greetings and then we jumped back in the truck and continued on our way to the St. Raphael church.

St. Raphael is a small mountain town where Grandma and Grandpa Bell first built a house and started a small church. Today, the church boasts several hundred. Our church in California raised the funds to build a new church building for St. Raphael. We introduced our Construction Team to the congregation. Brian Gudgel, who is part of the team, delivered a great message about 2 Corinthians 4 with translation by our friend Gerby. Actually, Gerby preached his own mini-sermon at the end.

After church, we snapped a few photos and some video of the progress on the building and then headed back home by the “back road” way. The highlight of the journey was a point when soft mud and water covered our path. Surely, the truck would get stuck so all 15 of us had to get out of the truck and walk. Our driver put the pedal in motion and after a few tries sailed over the muddy patch.

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