An Evening in Haiti
By Rob Pifer
Have you ever noticed ambient sounds of the early morning? I’m always amazed at how quiet and still my house is in the early hours just before alarm clocks start blaring to begin the routines of the day. If you’ve ever been camping it’s likely that you’re familiar with the sounds of wildlife that emerge from the dark silence as the dawn approaches. Maybe you’ve vacationed at the beach and been awakened by the gentle roll of the early morning waves.
Recently I experienced a new type of sound to begin my day, and it’s one that I will never forget. Imagine waking to the sound of children singing in an unfamiliar language, with various melodies and harmonies but in unity, singing praises to God. This is exactly how the Mission Haiti Team and I awoke each morning we spent at the Cabaret Haiti Mission several weeks ago. Every morning before sunrise, the children of the orphanage wake for their morning prayers and devotion time. The songs they would sing during this time would echo through out the halls of the orphanage, serving as the sweetest alarm clock you could imagine. It was our wake up call, and as our week in Haiti went on, we looked forward to it more and more each night as we fell asleep.
Listening to the children singing became more and more impactful to our team because as the week went on we began to understand who these children were and why they were singing. There’s little Ella, a feisty beautiful four-year-old girl who was rescued after being abandoned and left to die as an infant. Rose-Vana is a precious twelve year old whose angelic voice would always be singing out no matter what she was doing. There’s little Wilhem, Leo, and Keles who would incessantly beg to play the games on my iPhone. Geslaine and Ruthfaelle wrote me notes of encouragement and thanks. Ronald is a young man and aspiring guitarist who sat with me for hours, patiently practicing and writing new cords as I taught him worship songs, all he wanted to play. And then there’s Mackenson, the first of the many children I would meet that week and the last one I said good bye to. There are many more children I could introduce to you, fifty to be exact, all living under the tender care of Mike and Bonnie Snider, who run the orphanage.
Can you imagine being the parents to fifty children? Sounds impossible doesn’t it? But by the grace of God, this is exactly what Mike and Bonnie have become, and they serve these children with love day in and day out. Prior to our trip and during our first days there, I would refer to these children as “orphans”. But as the week went on, I had to correct myself. They are no longer orphans without a home and family! These children have been given a home, an identity, and an unconditional love that will never leave them. They are being cared for by loving parents, and they are experiencing the love of their Heavenly Father. This is why the children sing. It is the song of the Gospel!
The Mission Haiti team is looking forward to sharing more about the people of the Cabaret Haiti Mission and our life-changing experience there. Make plans to join us on Friday evening, August 11th at An Evening in Haiti, which will take place from 6-8pm in the Youth Room at Four Oaks Killearn. Dinner will be provided, complete with delicious Haitian food! You’ll hear stories and testimonies from the team, see pictures from our trip, and find out ways to get involved and support the Cabaret Haiti Mission and this new partnership that we are so very excited about. Everyone is welcome, and childcare will be provided. Click here to register for An Evening In Haiti.