This past Sunday was the launch of our church in Leveque. It is exciting to have a church for both the current residents and the new deaf community to worship together. It was a beautiful sight to see, however, when we arrived at the pavilion last Sunday morning…there was nothing inside. I was a little concerned but remembered how “Haiti Time” works. My mom and dad were with us and my mom asked, “Where will everyone sit?” Within a few minutes we saw men carrying wooden benches our direction. Before we knew it, there was enough seating for everyone. As people started to enter the “church” you could hear many greet each other with a “Bonjou” and at the same time see others greeting with the sign for “good morning” (I learned sign language in Elementary School…many, many years ago…and I love how a few simple words are coming back!). I was able to introduce myself to a few people and even learned how to sign “Madam Ruben”.
Pastor Patrice brought his guitar and began singing worship songs. Right by his side was a Creole to American Sign Language interpreter, Franklin. I looked over and the whole front row was following along, signing the words, and praising God in their own way. I didn’t want to stare, but it was incredibly beautiful. I started thinking about how God hears our heart…not just the words that come from our mouth. Anyone can sing the words and recite a prayer, but if we don’t mean it with our heart…it means nothing. In the book of Matthew, Jesus was asked what the most important commandment is and He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” It doesn’t say we must love the Lord by singing the best, preaching the loudest, or praying the longest…it says to love with all your heart.
After praise and worship, Pastor Patrice shared a great word from God. Again, right by his side, Franklin was interpreting it to ASL.
It is such an honor, and I feel so blessed to be apart of what God is doing in Haiti!
Peace, Love and Sign Language!