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Archive for February, 2014

Baptism

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Awhile ago, three of the guys in the bakery/discipleship program made decisions to follow Christ with their lives (Richemond, Wilson, and Manno).  As a result, they wanted to get baptized.

Moise and I started looking around to find a place where we could do a baptism.  Moise is the Bible teacher I work with. 

In the churches I have visited here in Haiti, I have never seen a baptisimal inside the church building, like is common in the States.  I think they usually do it at a river or such.

Moise knew about a park that had just such a river running through it with a pool where he told me baptisms are frequently done.  We went and visited it during a weekday, and it seemed like an ideal location.  There was hardly anyone there and it was quaint and peaceful.  The park even had a short walking trail we looked at.  Voodoo paraphernalia was littered about said trail and stuck on the trees, which took away from some of the ambience.  Moise told me that at night the park was sometimes used for voodoo ceremonies. 

Finally the scheduled day came. Yesterday (Saturday) a group of us went out to do the baptism.  I was surprised when we arrived and the place was packed out.  It was a lot more of the happening place on Saturday afternoon than a weekday morning. 

Nevertheless, we all gathered in a circle and had a brief service by the side of the pool.  We prayed over the guys and each of the three guys shared a few words of why they wanted to be baptized. 

The Three Guys Getting Baptized

Then Moise and the first person got in the water.  Imagine doing a baptism at a public swimming pool on a Saturday afternoon in July.  That’s kind of what the scene reminded me of. 

As Moise was getting ready to baptize the first guy, a rowdy fellow did a cannonball almost on top of him!  But soon some bystanders spoke up and told those being disruptive to stop and be respectful as we were doing something serious here.  By the time of the third baptism, many people at the pool had paused from their activities (swimming, bathing) and were watching us.

So it turned out OK afterall.  Baptism is supposed to be public, and this one was very public.  Everyone in the picture below was a bystander and you can see we have their attention! 

Bystanders

Moise & Manno

Please be in prayer for Wilson, Manno, and Richemond as they walk with the Lord. Mesi!

Why Not Much Writing

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

One reason I haven’t been writing much lately is because there has become too much pressure on my writing.  Let me explain.

At one point in the past I decided to add a subscription button.  Following that, quite a few people subscribed.  Now I know whenever I hit “submit” on a blog post, an automated e-mail is sent to people to clutter their inbox.  Honestly, that is too much pressure.  I don’t want to bore people.  I don’t want to waste peoples time.  I don’t want to fill people’s inbox with the mundane.  Hence, one reason I’ve slowed down writing.

I reached the unfortunate stage of feeling perfection is necessary, and “Perfection is the enemy of excellence.” Something had to change! So, henceforth I have abolished the subscriber feature, at least for now.  Maybe I’ll write more because of it :-)

Normal Bizarity

Life in Haiti has become routine.  At some point anything settles into routine.  Even a place as unusual as here.  The unusual becomes usual.

This evening, driving back home in the dark on my motorcycle, I went through a voodoo parade.  That was different.  But when different is normal, sometimes normal becomes bizarre.

So at first I didn’t know what was going on, just noticed traffic was unexpectedly backed up, and wondered why.  As I navigated between long rows of parked cars I came upon a dancing man with his bare buttocks showing and white paint across his chest.  That’s funny, I thought.  Then behind him I saw people with tall, ghastly costumes walking around the road.  As I began motoring between the scary-looking actors, I saw others with crazy masks looming form the dark, then started passing rows of dancers and singers and more with the white paint on mostly bare bodies.  The noise was super loud.  While all quite fascinating, I was trying to get through quickly without running anyone over.  Then when I thought I had got through, I came upon a tight crowd of perhaps 1,000 people on the road moving along chanting/singing enmasse.  There was a dividing island in the middle of the road and the group went to the right of the divider (for locals: the Boat between Kafou Clercine & Flerio).  I saw some motorcycles in front of me try pushing through on the correct side of the road, but I opted to switch sides and go the wrong way around the divider and zip around the oncoming traffic, which worked fine.

If I told all the stories of odd things I see and that happen to me here, all my time might be taken up just writing stories.