Haiti Day 5: Same God, Different Languages

On Wednesday in Haiti, our group visited homes and prayed and then had Creole lessons. This round of home visits and prayers was, in my opinion, even better than the first, because we had more time. This meant that everyone prayed at each house and that we got to pray for more families. Almost every family we met thanked us for coming to pray with them, and many of them asked us to simply pray for their faith in Jesus to be strengthened.

In the afternoon, we learned Creole, and you could definitely tell that none of us had been in school for a couple of months… we were all pretty goofy. We ended up learning things like “pounce” and “slam” (two of our words of the day) and “turn up.” We also learned several conversational phrases that would actually be useful, like how to ask people about their siblings. Creole is an insanely beautiful language; it’s similar to French but sounds harder and less snooty. I miss the sound of Creole worship and of people speaking Creole as we walked down those dirt roads. I find myself wanting to say “bonjou” or “bonswa” to people instead of “hello.”

I think a common experience on mission trips is that your view of God becomes bigger, and I was no exception. It’s so cool to hear people worship and talk about God in a language that is completely foreign. God speaks English and Creole and Spanish and Portuguese and probably even Klingon. He is sovereign over the whole world, not just my world. I know I’ve talked about that idea a ton as I’ve blogged about Haiti, but it’s one of the biggest things He told me. In Haiti and the U.S., He has a plan and a will and a love that is alive and working.

One of the things I tried to be very aware of throughout the week was cultural sensitivity, but I didn’t have to worry. God is the same in every culture, and His power breaks down cultural boundaries and language barriers. He can be praised in any environment, in any art form, in any language while still being respectful toward the culture. He is the same God always, in crazy times or in places that speak different tongues. He is constant, a God of love and joy and hope and peace no matter what or where or when. It was an absolute blessing in Haiti to be able to praise the same God in different languages.

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