I have been in Haiti preparing for a lecture series at St. Andrew Theological Seminary, the seminary of CONASPEH in Port au Prince. From the moment of arrival for the group I travelled with, the drive through Port au Prince was eye-opening. Waste and trash evident, people upon people looking for a means to get by in the streets. But I have not witnessed despair, rather a strong spirit among those I've met so far. One of the CONASPEH officials overwhelmed us with her words of thanksgiving for our presence, and for our enthusiasm to come and contribute to their ministry. Sleeping in the heat was not at all unbearable, and I in fact have been sleeping soundly. On the first morning we had a meeting scheduled with the regional coordinators and pastors of the council of CONASPEH. CONASPEH is the ecumenical Council of Spiritual Churches in Haiti that we work with as mission partners. It is essentially the ecumenical gathering of poor Haitian churches left out of the loop by those in power. They are our host.
Our group drove to the CONASPEH central building in Port au Prince and were stunned by the number of pastors and regional coordinators that had come together just for the opportunity to meet with us. There were some 50-60 who had come from every corner of Haiti, and some islands. Mind you these pastors and churches are poor, so they come by small bus and by foot, some of them many many hours. As we introduced ourselves and they introduced themselves, their expressions of joy and solidarity at our presence was spirit-filled.
Our second day takes us to Jacmel on the south coast where we will be working on construction of a church. After 3 days, we will then return to Port au Prince where our group will work on another church while I teach course on Revelation to a group of pastors in the seminary.