If you have been following this journey then I am sure you have guessed that Siloe is the name of the church we visited today. We packed our things and loaded the Toyota Landcruiser with suitcases and 8 people. There was no mountain climb to the Siloe church as it is right in Jacmel. This is the church we visited two years ago. I brought up our misunderstanding from then and they all smiled knowingly.
Our facilitator, Fevrier, did an excellent job having us share the journey of our congregation as a river and then we put a drawing on the chalkboard of the two rivers joining. We share with Siloe the experience of losing our building; they to earthquake and we to fire. We have generally sensed that apart from different cultures and economies, we share a lot of ministries and challenges and blessings in common with the churches here. We sensed God’s Spirit at work among them all and noted the Spirit’s presence everywhere we went.
Siloe church is probably in the best shape as a ministry and that is likely because their pastor is a strong leader. He has led the area churches and he has played a role in the entire Haitian CRC. We connected with him on Leadership Development as a way to move forward together.
We are back in Port au Prince now and will meet with the leaders of the Haitian CRC as well as with the various mission agencies here who work under the umbrella name Sous Espwa. Hopefully we can have further clarity after those conversations. However, we know we will have to continue reflecting on this and conversing after we are home…we have taken phone numbers and email addresses and we will find ways to keep this conversation going now that we have met face to face and have a feel for who we are speaking with.
Our trip back to Port au Prince was interrupted by two more flat tires. We did learn that Haitian tire service is faster than Canadian. We had barely piled out of the Landcruiser and there was someone there to help us. He jacked up the vehicle, removed the wheel, and rolled it down the road. It was more damaged than we thought, thus the second flat which resulted in purchasing a new tire. All this in under two hours…impressive all things considered. And all this for under $30…we are considering taking home new tires for our vehicles at home.
While we waited it started to rain. It has rained a fair bit this week. We asked Gregory, our guide, about the weather on the first day. He said it might rain but it almost never rains during the day. We reminded him of that nearly every day as the rain came. Today’s rain was special though. We were standing on the side of the road attracting attention as only “blancs” can do. The building we were in front of was a home which was apparently home to a fair number of children. They were curious and opened the gate and we took their pictures and they giggled. When the rain started they invited us in for shelter. The front room of the house was full with furniture and other stuff so that we could just squeeze in. Fevrier was with us so we were able to talk with the children, at least those who were not hiding (and peaking at us strange people through the curtains). The boy who shared most was learning some English, hoped to be a computer programmer, and was having his first experience talking to white foreigners. This wonderfully hospitable family were also followers of Jesus.
We went for dinner at Zach and Sharon King’s home…which was the VanderStoep home last time we were here. The King’s worked with Lesley when she was here. It was kind of them to invite us, but Zach had just made it back from Mexico and we had had a long day so an excellent start to a conversation will have to wait until tomorrow.