One of the most amazing things about being in Haiti is meeting the people that are here ministering on a full-time basis. Every day we are encountering people that are simply being Jesus to the Haitians, and their passion, dedication, sacrifice, and labor are truly humbling and encouraging to behold. Today, we were able to meet two such people, Jay Cherry and Pastor St-Cyr.
Jay and his wife finished college in Florida, decided to quit their jobs and moved to a remote village in Haiti to open an orphanage. By “remote”, I mean that they were the only English-speakers for miles. Armed with only a Kreole dictionary, they taught hardened Haitian children how to be loved. Now, they are serving with Mission of Hope, an organization that has been doing amazing work in Haiti for many years. He was just the most humble person we had ever encountered, and the love and passion that he has for the Haitian people seemed almost tangible.
Pastor St-Cyr, on the other hand, is a *preacher*. He’s the type of preacher that has, for example, put loudspeakers on his roof so that he could share the Gospel to his entire neighborhood and that taught himself French so that he could minister to the educated class in Haiti because “rich people need Jesus too.” Before the earthquake, he had a school and a church near the Prime Minister’s home in Port-au-Prince. After the quake, he set up a church in the rapidly growing tent city JP-One and held services every night for 7 months. His influence became so strong that he is now the camp director for the entire camp – over 53,000 people!
We were able to visit his church tonight and were treated to a great evening. The passion of the people as they worship their — and our — God transcended our language barrier and we were able to worship together with them (and the music was FANTASTIC). Chris and Scott were able to share with the church, and then we distributed whistles to the women of his church as a deterrent to the sexual violence that can be prevalent in some of the corners of the cities. It was such a small thing, yet the simplicity and relatively small expense of this solution is unfortunately common and very discouraging as well.
The days and the people are finally catching up to us. The needs of Haiti are never-ending and the people are the epitome of beautiful but so, so tragic. We are starting to feel like we are putting band-aids on tumors. But Pastor St-Cyr said something so simple today that really brought hope to the team: “The longest journey starts with the smallest step.” The reality is that we are taking tiny, baby steps alongside our Haitian family and that God is truly in their midst.
So, please pray for us. Pray for emotional strength as we try to continue to restore a little dignity and hope to our friends. Also, pray again for our medical team as they will be serving our church community tomorrow in Kenscoff and for the few of us that will be traveling to a new community in hopes of beginning another orphan program there.
(and big thanks to those of you that are posting links to these updates on Facebook, Twitter, and your blogs, and also for the words of encouragement in the comments and the Facebook notes, etc. It really does mean the world to us.)
Mwen renmen ou!