Our third day in Haiti was a Sunday, so we went to church in Leveque. They speak Creole in Haiti, so of course we couldn’t understand any of the message, but it was an amazing worship experience anyway. They have a sign language translator at the church for the deaf community. They sang “Blessed Assurance” in Creole as well.
Here we are all dressed for church.
We went back to the guesthouse for lunch, and after lunch we returned to Leveque. We met up with some of the kids from the community and drew on paper plates. I met this handsome man my first day in Leveque and fell in love. His name is Emeson and he’s a great kid! We played ball together the first day, drew together today, and later you will see us dancing together (in a later post because that happened later in the week).
One of the ladies from my church donated these really neat sign language bears. The kids loved them! You stick your hands through the bears arms, then put on the red gloves, then start teaching sign language.
Here are the kids dancing. They LOVE to dance!
Below is the blog for the day. I believe this one is written by Carly.
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Today was our second full day in Haiti and I think it’s safe to say that everyone has already fallen in love with the people and culture of this country. We started off the day by attending an early church service in Leveque, which was absolutely amazing. The church, which is also used as the community center, is an open-air pavilion. When we arrived, there was already a very large crowd of Haitians from Leveque and the surrounding area who were ready to worship and glorify God. The church accommodates for both the hearing and the Deaf, which helps reiterate the importance of a friendly relationship between the two. 410 Bridge is working very hard to help the people of Leveque understand how beneficial it is for the hearing and the Deaf to live amongst each other in harmony. At the service, the preacher shared his sermon in Creole, the native language of Haiti. In addition to the preacher, there was an interpreter who shared the sermon with the Deaf members of the community. Since there are only a few people in our group who know sign language fluently, many of us were unable to understand the church service. Personally, I think that the language barrier made this experience even more special. We didn’t necessarily have to understand every word the preacher spoke to see that these people are so very passionate about praising and glorifying God. There was so much positive energy resonating throughout the church and I am so thankful that we had a chance to share this experience with the people of Leveque. After the service ended, William, who is training to become the Deaf pastor of Leveque, explained the sermon in further detail to the Deaf members of the church. As he was using sign language, Katherine was interpreting the message into English so our group could understand the sermon. I cannot even explain how amazing William is when he is preaching to his fellow Deaf members of Leveque. Words don’t even begin to give this man justice. He is so passionate about the Lord and the importance of living a righteous life that glorifies God. He, along with Katherine, explained that the sermon was about the temptations that people face over the course of their lives and how important it is to remain pure. William is captivating to watch because he uses so much emotion as he communicates with the Deaf members of Leveque. After William completed the sermon, our group, along with a church group from Florida, headed to the construction site of Leveque’s future church. The church sits on top of a hill that overlooks the entire community and will be a wonderful upgrade for the sweet people of Leveque. Saturday night, Katherine suggested that each one of us write either a favorite Bible verse or a special prayer on a piece of paper, to leave at the construction site of the church. When we arrived Sunday, they were digging holes to prepare the foundation of the church. We read our prayers aloud and then put them in the holes so that they will forever be a part of the church’s foundation! After doing so, we returned to the guesthouse and shared lunch and fellowship with the other church group from Florida. Once our appetites were satisfied and we were rested, we returned to Leveque for the afternoon activities. Jodi and Margaret were teaching the children both sign language and English, which will greatly improve their overall communication with each other, as well as lessening the language barrier between the people of Leveque and future mission trip/church groups. In order to help the children better understand this foreign information, Jodi and Margaret used flashcards and had the children repeat the word back to them, in both English and sign language. These children are SMART! It was amazing to watch how quickly they absorbed the information and the pride they took in themselves for learning. Simultaneous to the English/sign language lessons, a large group of us were playing with the beautiful children of Leveque! We brought paper plates and markers so that they could unleash their artistic talents and draw whatever they desired! In addition to drawing, we also used Karlenes’ radio to listen to music and dance with the kids. Karlenes is one of the hearing members of Leveque and can speak English very well. He also has a great taste in American music, which is what was primarily playing on his radio. After spending several hours in Leveque, we returned to the guesthouse. Across the street from the house, there is a huge soccer field where the Haitians play or practice their skills on a daily basis. It just so happened, that they had a game going on around 5:00, so we were able to watch them play from the balcony of the house. Not only do they have passion for God, but they also have passion for soccer… and they are good! We then ate dinner, which was prepared by the three Haitian women who stay at the house and cook for us. They are all so sweet and have prepared us amazing meals so far! After dinner, the three women agreed to share their own stories for us. They told us where they’re from, what their families are like, and what they enjoy to do for fun. One of the cooks speaks very good English, so she was able to interpret her friends’ answers and relay the information to us. These ladies all have such great hearts and attitudes. It was a lot of fun getting to know the three of them a little bit better. To wrap up the night, we had a short devotion, which was prepared by David. He did a wonderful job and talked about how we often forget that our body is the temple of God and the importance of taking care of ourselves, in order to glorify God. I think that many people were touched by David’s words and went to bed with a happy heart!