Abel and Macken departed on Saturday the 25th. at 4:30am for the long trip to Sanite to officiate a triple wedding in one of the local community churches we support. Macken is a 19 year old faithful participant in both the SOHH midweek Bible study and English class. He has a real heart for God and music of praise and worship. They traveled up the mountains about 5 hours. We are very grateful for our neighbor Renaldo who lent us his truck for the two day journey.
This really underscores the real need for a rugged truck of our own. We can certainly make trips such as this much more routinely if we had the appropriate vehicle of our own. After traveling as far as the road conditions would allow, Abel and Macken completed their journey on foot. They walked an additional 3 miles uphill carrying personal belongings, a heavy load of drinking water and snacks, and a large bundle of robes provided by Stone of Help Haiti. Keep in mind, Abel is still somewhat effected by lingering swelling due to knee surgery. I only mention this because I know he wouldn’t. For Abel, this is a labor of love. and any inconvenience, or even hardship, is considered a privilege to endure for the cause of Christ.
Their arrival was met by approximately 250 people already on the church of Sanite grounds. Folks routinely walk on an average of 2 hrs. “one way” to attend weekly church service and other special events. Remember, this is only an average, as some live really far away. However, praising God is indeed a most high priority. A group of saints from our church in Martissant arrived some days earlier for a time of week-long continuous time of retreat, prayer, and praise to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. At the end of an all-day and evening time of devotions, the faithful would then sleep on the church ground, arise, and continue the same way the next day.
Two churches in our network, Sanite and Javeja, were joined by two other local congregations in celebration of this triple wedding. Pastor Osnel would assist Abel in presiding over this occasion. The married couples-to-be sat back to back in the decorative coconut leaf constructed church building. Each couple committed their vows individually in the three hour ceremony. Church service continued at 7:30 pm and lasted past midnight.
Church service resumed again on Sunday morning with the same 250 faithful. Abel shared a message on the gospel and it’s life-changing presence and power in the Believer’s life. Prayer was offered for the newlyweds in attendance. There were also 7 child dedications and the acknowledgement of some new Believers on hand. Abel and Macken needed to return to, hopefully, arrive home prior to darkness. It was about 3 in the afternoon and the service wasn’t about to let up anytime soon. Communion would still be on the schedule, whenever that may be. When worship takes place in Haiti, all clocks are put aside for as long as the Spirit may lead.
Traveling Home Adventure
Abel and Macken set out for home around 3 in the afternoon, once again on foot for a about 3 hours. This time, though, it was a downhill walk. Thank you Jesus! After their 5 hour return trip, Abel dropped off Macken in Citi Soleil so he can take a tap tap the rest of his way home. Unfortunately, the enemy was lurking around in attempt to steal away any remaining blessings from this glorious two days of ministry. Citi Soleil is coming under some very turbulent times related to Haiti’s current election season. Opposing factions and violence are ever present, and it seems that this particular area has been hit the hardest. Macken’s tap tap was taken over at gunpoint and the passengers removed onto the street. This gang searched the tap tap and then allowed them to continue on unharmed. Praise the Lord!
This is just one of many real-life situations we confront in Haiti on a daily basis. Life in Haiti is hard and and can become dangerous in many ways and at any given moment. One must be vigilant at every turn. But most of all, this also reminds me of our Christian calling to remain bold and intentional in reaching lost people with the message of the gospel with a deep sense of urgency.
All in all it was a very fruitful weekend as we continue to marvel at all God is doing through the mission and visions He has set before Stone of Help Haiti.