This is a letter written by one of Trinity/HOPE’s feeding program directors who attended Lutheran Seminary in Haiti and started a church in a very rural area of Haiti. Jean Philippe is Haitian and shares this experience of his first service in English which is not his native language. Thank you God for all the blessings!
Dear Supporters of Trinity/HOPE for several of you it is not a surprise but I think that plenty of you will be astonish to read that the writer of this has been at seminary during this these three past years, been graduated and now is serving a church in Gros-Morne. I think that it is a little bit amazing to know how my first service there was; and this would be the substance of my letter today. I hope it would please you and bring joy to your heart as you will how it is pleasant to serve the Lord.
I don’t know if it occurs to that you have prepared to do one thing and when you arrive at the place to do what you have prepared circumstances obliged you to do another thing. It is exactly what happens to me when I had to make my first service at my church. To understand what I’m going to tell you it is important tell you first in what circumstance that church have been planted. In July 11th this year 2014 we preach a night of crusade and when we made the call 17 people came to Christ it was a Friday night.
I met them following Saturday and rendezvous to come to church at the time we fixed for that on Sunday July 13th. Some of them were on time others were very late we have even thought that they would not come. When we begin a service usually we say God’s peace be with you and the church answers amen or with you also. This time to start I said the peace of God be with you, they only glance. Now instead of continue by singing a song or pray, they were taught to say this or to say that. They did not know anything about the function of a church and how it is running. They did not know to listen when the pastor speaks; it was like the Haitian proverb, “It is difficult to teach a snake to sit.”
Patiently we spent the day, make announcements and planned to meet during the coming Wednesday. When they come that day they were better they were not the same they learn a lot, they are interesting people and good, they love the Lord.
One Wednesday we planned our meeting, I arrived earlier and just after my arriving it began to rain. Usually any meeting can be aborted in Haiti if the sky is covered with clouds because they are mostly on foot and any millimeter of rain can cause damage. During that raining time they all come to our meeting using banana leaf as an umbrella, that action touched my heart and motivated me more to work with them.
God has sheep every where in the world, he has also many in Haiti. It is the duty of every Christian to have them go in the shepherd.
God bless you all who are going to read this letter.
Jean Philippe Paul