Sunday, July 5, 2015

C2 - Haiti Trip Update, Sunday

John, Kelsey, Kelli, and Carly
After a well-deserved night of rest, our missionaries woke up early to prepare for breakfast and Sunday mass with the community. Most of the team rested well but some found it difficult to fall asleep quickly after the long day of travel they had yesterday. 

Breakfast turned out to be quite the feast including a variety of juices, robust, Haitian coffee, peanut butter, pineapple jam, bread, bananas fresh from the village, and a special “Independence Soup.” The soup contained beef, noodles, potatoes, and other Haitian vegetables. It was a soup once reserved for people from France, but now enjoyed as a Sunday custom by people who are of means and can afford to procure the ingredients.

Morning mass was a 2½ hour celebration where the full congregation witnessed 15 confirmation candidates in white robes place their hand on a Bible and pledge a promise to God. This group will be confirmed later this year. As always, the band and full choir filled the Church of St. Anne’s with beautiful music rich in French, Caribbean, and Creole sounds. Team leader, Carol was asked to address the congregation. She expressed that our team brought warm greetings from the Church of the Nativity as well as much appreciation for being asked to assist in conducting a summer camp for the students. Carol and the full team were met with smiles and loud applause from everyone in the church. Mass ended with a “Happy Birthday Sunday” tradition where eight people celebrating birthdays this week were called to the front of the altar while the full congregation sang Happy Birthday to them.

After mass, all of our travelers were greeted in person by many parents, students, and well-wishers, always grateful for our presence.

The afternoon brought a lunch of rice and beans and another rich soup. The group also had some time to relax, unwind, and gather their thoughts from the rich cultural experience that they had during their first 24 hours in Haiti. Team members spent time on the cool, shaded rectory porch teaching some new friends a card game and English, perfecting their Creole phrases, and trying to put thought to paper in their journals. 

Kelsey teaching Kiki English
Fr. Effener plans to escort the team on an early evening walk through the village where they will witness Haitian life as it happens, meet many families, and enjoy life in the mountain village called home by so many of our brothers and sisters at St. Anne’s.

Tomorrow brings the first day of summer camp with hundreds of excited children walking miles along rough dirt roads and paths to arrive by 8 am. The week ahead will bring a mix of hard work and rewarding experiences for Carol, Kelli, Kelsey, John, and Carly. Please continue to pray for our amazing travel team. Share your prayers with them in the comments.

Carol & Evette

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