Thursday, August 26, 2010
Light on a Hill: Day 1
The home with the big green yard is Light on a Hill
Morning comes early in Haiti. The sun wakes up around 5:30, and so do most Haitians. Since electricity is a luxury, not a standard convenience, people utilize the daylight hours as much as possible.
Our first morning in Haiti was on a Sunday. The medical team went off to a church nearby, but because of transportation conflicts, we were to stay at the compound, hold our own worship service, and then leave for Light on a Hill, which is where we were to spend the remainder of our time in service. Worship was great. Justin, the younger guy from the medical team, had talked with his dad and was going to spend the week he was in Haiti staying with us. He would see his team during the day as they would commute to Light on a Hill to perform medical services to the community there Monday through Wednesday, but would spend the night there with us while they went back. After our little service, we loaded our bags back up on the Land Rover and headed up, up, up into the mountains of Carrefour to a little place called Diquini, where the church plant called Light on a Hill is situated.
Justin, whom we affectionately called "Number Nine" because he was our ninth team member, and Reggie reading the Bible on the roof.
We passed roadside markets on the way, most just people with their wares spread out on the ground. There were huge piles of clothes, mostly donations that were not being used. I bristled a little at this..but think of the good the money could do them. Some of the things they can't use for themselves could help them to feed their family. That old shirt you never wear can do much more good there than sitting in the back of your closet. We climbed steadily up the mountainside, passing homes of all variety..stone, sheet metal, tent. Many of the homes had UNICEF tarps stretched overtop to compensate for roofs lost during the quake. People were walking up and down the hill, many carrying things on their heads, such as big water jugs or baskets of produce. I really rival their balance and neck muscles!
Light on a Hill was, not really a surprise, because I had no idea what to expect, but like nothing I could have imagined. It is a big house built of concrete, two stories tall but very wide, and with a flat roof that has lots of room and a great view. The back yard is on the edge of a big hill, and you can see all the houses/tents below straight to the ocean (or bay) with mountains to the right. There is a big front yard with trees and grass and a gate stretching all the way around. Right outside that gate is a tent city, which is a community made of mostly temporary tent shelters. These people are waiting for new homes to be built because they lost their homes in the earthquake. There is no electricity, no running water. It is utterly different than anything I've ever seen before.
Also outside the gates is the church. It is a simple, open structure made of bamboo poles and covered by blue tarp. This is where services are held Sunday morning and night, and several nights throughout the week. They use the generator from the house at Light on a Hill to provide electricity for light and the sound machines.
There were tents set up around the main house at LOAH. These were for the young men who were a part of the church plant, those being discipled by Pastor Junior, who is in charge there. They also housed the translators, Anel and Reggie, who would spend each day with us as we served in Haiti.
Anel and Reggie
The pastor at Light on a Hill's name is Junior. He is all of 27 years old. His dad is still a practicing voodoo priest. When Junior became a Christian, he was kicked out of his house, and his parents told him they wouldn't pay for his schooling. Junior told them that God would provide. He moved out, and was adopted by a missionary family who paid for ALL of his schooling. He trusted in the Lord, and the Lord provided.
Me and Pastor Junior
The girls and I set up pur cots and mosquito netting in our downstairs room, and took in the beauty that was Haiti. The next day was going to be hard work, but with God's hand in it we knew it would be beautiful.