January 1, 2013
I arrived in Haiti in 2012 and already it is 2013..Bonne Annee from Haiti. It just seems like I was packing and preparing for my travel to visit Lemuel and already it is Tuesday, January 1st, 2013. My name is Deborah Dennis and I am visiting Lemuel on behalf of my church, Emmanuel Baptist Church, in Canada.
How did you spend your New Year’s Eve? Here in Haiti New Year’s is the big celebration. Last night around 9:00 pm.the church community and people from the wider community gathered in the church and outside the church where they sang, prayed, shared testimonies and also had a cultural part to the program. Manis preached and played guitar while Lukeson took me to the service and made sure I had a nice time. He is a very nice young man who wants to study in the Dominican to be a doctor and told me some men from my church who have been here on work teams, Josh and Russ are his best friends. Mark too.
Judy, Manis’s wife, lead a Haitian style song during the service and below is a video of her leading and the congregation singing along. You can tell Judy knows Haitian style as she grew up in Haiti as a missionary kid.
Although I left around 1:00 a.m., they continued to celebrate until late into the night. Then, this morning, the church committee handed out 150 food packages to the community. Each bag contained bags of rice, flour, sugar, oil, beans, and some bullion cubes which would give each family several meals. As January First is both New Year’s and in Haiti, their day of Independence, Lemuel wanted to give out some food as a thank you to the community on this special occasion.
On Sunday, the day after I arrived at the Plateau I got up early with the sun around 7:00 and got ready for church. I don’t usually dress up too much at home but here I was told that Haitians were their best to church. I was prepared to be very hot but with a nice breeze it was surprisingly comfortable. For me, being in the church was made more special as I knew the work team from Emmanuel had helped put up the roof and put in the doors. Sam preached and Manis lead the worship. I could sing the songs in French which made me appreciate my high school French classes. They also sing in Creole which is similar to French but not enough for me to be able to sing them. Here are a few pictures from the service.