Today was quite an experience. Actually that’s an understatement. Today was a truly unbelievable experience. We attended to church services one in Mahanaim and one in Port au Prince. The first service in Mahanaim was very intimate with approximately 150 people, some of them were a part of the construction crew for the aquaponics project. We were invited to introduce ur selves to the congregation which was truly an honor. It also gave us an opportunity to thank those who have helped with the aquaponics construction. Everyone in Mahanaim is busy with everyday life and for them to lend their hands in the effort shows their commitment to the project and it gave me great pleasure to commend them for this. Below is a link to a clip of the high energy church service.
Now the second service was totally unbelievable. The must have been 2500 Haitians at the service. The church service was held in an open air building which was slightly above the former church which was destroyed by the 2010 earthquake. The main building held maybe 1500 people and another 1000 people stood below looking upward at the service. The energy was intense and you could feel the emotion coming from the congregation through song and prayer. I am not a particularly religious person but even for me this was nothing short of breath taking.
Luiguy asked us to greet the congregation and this was by far the largest audience I have ever spoken in front of. When I first met Ron Morgan in 2011 and he told me his vision for implementing food production in Haiti I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of and I had fantasies about what I thought it would be like. Those fantasies fail in comparison to what I experienced today. We haven’t even finished a full project in Haiti but getting invited to share an idea with thousands of people who have been through literal hell and back is something that I never envisioned doing and few people will ever do. It is something that will stay in my mind forever.
Dr. O was also given a great opportunity today. He is a medical entomologist who specializes in researching the transmission of mosquito related diseases. A new virus called chicongonia is infecting people all over Haiti. This disease causes sever joint pain and fever and is fatal to those with compromised immune systems. Many Haitians believe this virus is caused by bad air or by god’s will. It is now proven that it is transmitted by mosquitoes just like malaria. It was amazing to see Dr. O educate thousands of Haitians about the truth behind chicongonia and I know it was an incredibly gratifying experience for him.
It is now 10pm and rain is starting to smack down on the corrugated iron roof in our guest house. Tomorrow we continue with digging the fish pond and hopefully starting to construct the frames to pour the concrete.