We were really “out there” in Chardonette, Haiti. Crossroads Community Church, of Doylestown, OH, came for their very first C3 Partnership visit a few weeks back. I had the privilege of going with them. We changed lives. We were changed.
From the moment we arrived, the marriage between Crossroads Community Church, Chardonette Church, and RMI was real. It is hard to put my finger on it, but there was something different, something special in the air. There was such warmth and joy. There was a true collaborative humble spirit. There was an immediate mutual desire to reach out to the community with the Gospel. There was a quick bond, only possible by the mutual love of Christ, and therefore a love of one another. It was truly special to have experienced it.
Chardonette is a church that is stuck. To be honest, they are on the bottom rung of the development ladder. Injustices were everywhere. Clean water is an issue. There is no school building. The parsonage walls are mud and the roof is rusted and full of holes. The one room church is crumbling. There is no electricity. They are off the beaten path and therefore have little hope of external support. They are full of the Spirit, but empty of resources. To be honest, they were only considered as a next Sister Church since RMI saw their situation, stepped in and added them. This church is pretty much forgotten. No special treatment for them. We roughed it a bit. But the people of Chardonette who hosted us, the 15 US team members, and the 8 RMI staff members all took it in stride since it was all for Jesus.
What did we do? As we say so often, our partnership visits are much about presence. When a friend or family member is sick in the hospital, what do you do? You go and stand by their side. Surely, you look for opportunities to do something tangible as those opportunities arise, but the visit is most about presence. It is about standing together, encouraging and praying with one another. Even being silent…. simply being present. This was realized.
Having said that, Crossroads Community Church did some very tangible things that clearly made a difference. Together, we walked far and visited homes of believers and unbelievers alike. We visited the homes (each strategically chosen by the local church) of widows, of the desperately poor, the blind and broken, of the unsaved. Each received a bucket of food, prayer, and the Gospel. Out of about 25 homes that we visited, we saw about 5 people submit to the Lordship of Christ and pray to receive Him as their savior. We traveled to another even more remote church to encourage and bless them with some food, 1 hour UP a hand-made mountain road that was only accessible by low 4 wheel drive. Truly, this is what God called us to do as believers.
We played games with kids and adults like I have never seen before. We worshipped. We prayed. We ate. We talked. We dreamed. We hiked. We shared. We cried. We sweated. We laughed. We lived the life that Jesus called us to.
Many more pictures are available here.