Christmas in rural Haiti is not like a US Christmas…nothing like Currier & Yves. There’s no snow. There are no reindeer. And there are no busy malls. No TV specials. But, at Christmas time people do spend more time together with family and friends. In that way, it’s much like home. I love seeing former students and folks who have been away for a long time.
This year, Christmas was extra special. Erntz, who lived with me for a few years during high school is now away at college. He is unique among the guys who have spent time at my place because he has a mother and a father who are…united. His six brothers and sisters decided to have a family party on Christmas day this year. They invited a pastor and another church leader to speak. Each member of the family was allowed to invite three friends. I was one of Erntz’s invited friends, and host of the event as well since I offered the ASAPH property.
We arranged the space between buildings with chairs and tables. We decorated. We set up the sound system. We got really dressed up and received the guests. The guests of honor, Mr. and Mrs. Courtois arrived and the program began. There was love in the room, as they say. A master of ceremonies introduced each member of the family. We prayed. We sang. The pastor spoke about what a family should be. We had fun, ate some food, and spent a delightful evening together.
Families are amorphous sometimes, here in Haiti especially. What a delight it was to sit back and watch a family that is united and loving. They had planned. They had prepared. And they enjoyed the fruit of unity and loving service.
It reminded me of my family’s gatherings back in PA. In 25 years here, this was a first. And a few of the attendees remarked that it was a first time for them in their lives.
Missionary in Haiti.