We had a chance to attend Sunday morning service at a local church located in the COBOCOL Area Development Program in the central plateau of Haiti. This was certainly a study in contrasts compared with my church in Canada.
The church in Haiti was a very simple one, with concrete block construction and a sheet metal roof. The building was open to the outdoors through windows and doors, which was much appreciated on this hot and sunny morning. The church pews were simple wooden benches, and the alter was decorated with simple flower arrangements. I enjoyed sitting in the church and hearing the sounds from the nearby goats and chickens. The choirs, who were the majority of the people in the church, were amazing. Using only their voices and clapping hands, the choirs performed with energy and passion, and filled this humble church with glorious harmonies. The time had changed over night, but without all of the technology we Canadians take for granted, many of the local people were not aware of the time change and drifted in late. The church was simple and humble, yet passionate and full of faith and joy.
I love my church in Canada. I appreciate the excellence in communicating the message, in the musical instruments and singing, and in the weekly contact with my church community. It is a nice church, with new renovations and comfortable pews. The decorations are often exquisite in design. The staff are great and the youth and children programs are strong and engaging. However, as much as I love my church, I must confess that I find the simplicity and passion of the Haitian church to be very appealing. Perhaps we too can embrace a more humble spirit and more passionate faith?
It was encouraging to me that despite the great contrasts between churches, they shared a common bond of faith, a bond which overcomes our differences.