Yesterday, Susana and I (Maria) went to church with another missionary family that lives here in the Global Outreach compound. Cody and Isabela stayed behind because Isabela had a fever and was not feeling well. It was quite an experience to watch my little three year old Susana hop in the car all excited because she is driving without the car seat on her way to church. Yes, I know some of you are holding tight to your seat as you read the words “without a car seat” but, there is no need for a car seat in Haiti. It only takes up space and prevents the car to be filled up with more people.
As we walked in church my confused child asks one of the other missionary kids, “Is this my mommy’s class?” I sensed that the other kid had no clue what Susana was referring to so I explained to him that Susana is just used to going to her own class while we are in church. It made Susana really happy to go to “mommy’s class” instead of her own.
While we were waiting for the service to begin she noticed that there was a lizard crawling in the sanctuary. She casually pointed it out and sat back waiting for the music to begin. I don’t think anyone cared about the lizard in the sanctuary except for me. But I was not about to scream in front of everyone. So I silently watched it disappear behind the drum set while I was praying hard that the it would melt in the heat. In the meantime, Susana kept on asking when the music was going to start. I had to explained to her that in this church it could be anytime of the day.
Then she began to look around looking at the people in the sanctuary and I could see that something was brewing in her little head. And all of the sudden she realized that she was not in her normal church. She almost jumped out of her seat with excitement as she said, “Mommy, this is Haiti!” I couldn’t help but laugh. “Yes, we are in Haiti.”, I told her. And that only got her even more excited. She was so happy to be in Haiti that she began to say over and over, “Yippee! We are in Haiti!” It was truly a precious moment.
When the worship team finally began to sing she was able to recognized the song, I am a friend of God by simply listening to the music. She was thrilled that they were playing a song that she had “learned in church”. I am just not sure if she was able to tell that it was in Creole and not in English.
Considering the heat, the wait, the language, the lizard, more wait, and more heat that she had to put up with she did pretty good on her first experience in a Haitian church. Normally, she does not do very well in the heat. And normally, she is not very patient either. But she managed to stay quiet until eight minutes before the service ended. By then she was extremely hot and extremely inpatient. I ended up taking her outside just before she began to wail and people began to think that this bad mother was mistreating the poor ti fi (little girl in Creole).
When we were waiting outside for the other family to come out I asked her what she thought of church. She said, “This is a boring church. There is no class for me and it is too long.” Kids are just so honest. They have no fear in speaking their mind. I couldn’t argue with any of those statements! Of course, except for the “boring” part. To me the entire experience was interesting and fun. But in her opinion there was no church for her and the she had to sit still for about 2 hours which she truly only did because the entire time she was waiting to be release to her class. Overall she did very good and I was a proud momma of my well-behaved Susana. I now can’t wait to see how Isabela will do in church next week. So pray for me. I might be in for double trouble. 🙂 –Maria