I have yearned for the day when I could finally write this post. For 27 years, our mother church met in a brush arbor with a dirt floor. We suffered through season after season of insufferable heat and monsoon-style rains. I even remember the Sunday night service where the majority of our members had their umbrellas open INSIDE the church to keep the rain from leaking through the rafters on them. I can’t recount the number of times I watched our people search for a dry place on a bench to sit, all the while placing their feet carefully on the muddy ground beneath them. Year after year passed as we prayed for a decent building. On several occasions, chickens would strut through the church while Prit preached. On rainy nights, goats would huddle onto the back benches to stay warm. Well, now we can finally say that long season is over.
Sunday morning, we gathered together in our brand new, gorgeous building that surpasses anything we could have ever hoped for and worshipped the Lord with all our hearts. But, no one entered the new building without having to first pass through the tonnelle one last time so as not to forget the struggle, the shame, and the fervent prayers that had been offered up on that hallowed ground. I recalled earlier times when our people returned to that little building, in the shape of Noah’s ark, and laid face down in the dirt to pray. They prayed for our deliverance from a gang which kidnapped us in 2006. I fought back the emotions as I thought of Pastor Délinx at the altar telling our congregation in 2010 that he felt strongly compelled to pray for Pastor Adams. He asked them to join him, not knowing that, far away in Alberta, Canada, Prit had already been sent to the hospital with two back-to-back brain aneurysms. I remembered the glory that had come into that place countless times as we were all swept up in God’s Shekinah glory. I bowed my head and prayed that we would never lose that fervor which we had – when we had nothing.
What can we say to those who lifted this huge burden off our shoulders? How can we begin to adequately thank all those who gave to make this miracle tangible – something built for the glory of God that will stand for generations? We begin by thanking Richard and Linda Baker, many other unnamed donors, Orphans Promise, and Lifeline Ministries for doing what we did not have the strength or the means to do. We thank Terry Meeuwsen for obeying the call to start Orphans Promise Ministry. We thank Beth Meadows, Abigail Anderson, and Yuri Khomyak for making several trips to Haiti and dealing with the on-the-ground logistics of bringing all this together. We thank, as well, Engineer Osmy Bozor and his crew members who erected the building. We thank our own people who wept for years, and chose to believe that God would bring us out of this desert to a life-giving oasis. They not only prayed, but they gave out of their poverty and the Lord turned their mourning into dancing. We thank our prayer partners like Myrtle Wickham and others who interceded for years that this building would be erected.
God built this house. He built it with the love and compassion of others who joined together with the tears and prayers of our people. May He be highly exalted and may the glory from His throne fill this temple!
Psalm 30: 11, 12
You have turned my mourning into dancing for me;
You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.