Today was a long day! We had a little truck trouble in the morning, so we got a late start. Youveline, one of our translators, sat down with me and gave me some Creole lessons. I picked it up pretty fast.
We began our day in Dubout (pronounced De-boo) teaching VBS lessons. We taught a lesson over Noah’s Ark, and the kids made a paper plate ark with a rainbow over the art to remind them of God’s promise to never again flood the Earth. There were so many kids there, and we were told there would be more the next day. I met a sweet boy named Gambriel, who sat by me the entire time to work on his crafts. He was trying so hard to have a conversation with me – talking nonstop! I tried my best to figure out what he was saying.
After finishing crafts in Dubout, we headed up to Savon Gra (pronounced Sa-von-graw) – a remote village in the mountains. We had to drive through Limonade (pronounced Li-mon-odd) in order to get to Savon Gra. On the 25th and 26th of July there is a festival going on in Limonade, which centers around VooDoo. It was a sight to see. Thousands of people travel to Limonade to participate in this festival. Mark and John pointed out the traditional VooDoo clothing – bright reds, royal blues, and women wearing all white.
I didn’t realize that VooDoo was still relevant in some countries but it is! Haitians know that when they see a group of “blancs” (blondes as we’re called) that we are missionaries. When we drive from place to place we wave at people walking or driving by. I was pleasantly surprised when I would wave or smile at someone wearing VooDoo colors, and they would smile and wave back to me. It really reminded me that they are people.... people who desperately need to hear the good Word.
We drove from a paved road to a dirt road, and it slowly narrowed down to just a walking path. We drove through some beautiful countryside, crossed a river, and hiked up a mountain to get to this small village.
There was this little boy who had never seen a white person before. I was standing right outside the door to the church when he walked out, looked up, and SCREAMED because the color of my skin scared him. Ephesian came over and began speaking to the boy in Creole. Ephesian told him it was okay and, to show him I wasn’t going to hurt him, Ephesian and I touched hands. The little boy still wasn’t having it, so I backed off for a little bit. A little while later an older woman brought him by me, and I said hello to him. He sat down in a chair next to me, and we began working on a craft together. I patted my legs as if to say “would you like to sit in my lap?” and one of the older boys encouraged him to come sit with me. It didn’t take much persuasion until he climbed up in my lap. We were best buds the rest of the day.
Marissa played some beautiful music, Katelynn taught the kids “Wi Jezi Remen’m” (Jesus Loves Me) with sign language, and the kids took turns singing to us! A little boy and I “played the drums” on the table for a few of the songs. We have so many talented people on our team. We are all blessed with different gifts, and I'm excited to see them put to work the rest of this week.
– Ashley Grissom, Mission Haiti 2016