Posted by: John Adams | June 15, 2010

Final Update from Haiti

I fly home tomorrow, and I feel like this trip has been exactly the right amount of time. Any less time spent here and I wouldn’t have experienced everything I wanted to. Any more time and I may have started pulling out my hair.

This last week has mostly been spent preparing to preach on Saturday and Sunday. In my case, this means two parts procrastination feeling nervous about preaching, and one part actually studying, scribbling notes, and mentally translating it all into Creole. The week flew by and by Saturday, I realized that the day of the youth conference was here and I felt underprepared despite hours of study. I was nervous and it was very difficult to say all I wanted to say in Creole, but it wasn’t all that bad.

On Sunday morning, I preached at a church pastored by one of our Bible school graduates. I talked about Isaiah’s vision of God in Isaiah 6, about how seeing God and the atonement clearly gives us both humility and confidence in doing God’s work. Despite having prepared about half as much for that sermon, I felt like it went much better. I tried to be less attached to notes and speak more from the heart and in the moment, and I think people responded better to that style. I walked out of there feeling better and also feeling relieved that I wouldn’t have to do any more preaching in Creole.

The last couple of days have been spent indulging in far too much World Cup soccer. Seeing Haiti during World Cup time has been special, and was something that I really wanted to experience, since my family always spent summers in North Carolina when I was a kid. It seems as though almost everyone in Haiti roots either for Brazil or for Argentina. People take it really seriously, too – they fly the flag of their preferred team from their motorcycles, their cars – even from the tops of their houses. It seems as though Brazil/Argentina is something of a rivalry, too – the pastor at whose church I preached said that fans of one actively root for whichever team is playing the other. A bad loss for one team can result in years of ribbing for fans of the other team.

Speaking of which, my parents and I went to a local restaurant today. The place had been converted into an ad hoc sports bar, and it was packed, since today was the day Brazil was making its World Cup debut. They were playing North Korea and despite being heavy underdogs, they hung tough with the Brazilian team for about 60 minutes, until Brazil finally broke through and put in two goals. The reaction from the crowd in the restaurant was absolute exhilaration each time Brazil scored. There was some scattered applause (probably from Argentina fans) when North Korea put in a goal with about three minutes left. It was a wonderful experience – true Haiti.

Tomorrow, the last thing I wanted to accomplish on this trip will get done, albeit not in the way that I had hoped for. The airline I flew into Haiti on is having trouble with their plane, so they’re sending me down to Port-au-Prince then out to Miami. I will almost definitely miss my connections now once I get to Florida, but I don’t really mind. I wanted to see the capital before I left.

I imagine going back now will be like going through a time warp – the last time I was in Port-au-Prince was January 12, the day of the earthquake. My flight left about 5 hours before the quake hit. I want to see the city as it is now, and I want to see if the two people I met last time who worked the taxi stand at the airport are still alive. That is the only thing on my list left to do.

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Responses

  1. I love reading your posts. Just so ya know.

  2. it’s funny how much one can prepare sermon material, only to have it feel out of sync at times…and sometimes the off-the-cuff, impromptu remarks register with listeners…i know what u mean, John 🙂


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