Monday, November 9, 2015

His Love Reaches Beyond Nowhere--Part 2

Woogy still expressed the desire to go to the mountain community. I told him that unless he comes with me and sees it for himself, I would not feel comfortable to take a group there. After chatting with his senior pastor, Woogy scheduled to come on a scouting trip along with his friend Scott, on the 29 of September through October 3. (This is where we left off at the end of His Love Reaches Beyond Nowhere--Part 1)

This time, I decided not to take the truck back up the mountain, so we rented a couple of four wheelers and used a motorcycle that is owned by my co-worker, Maico. We drove to Jacmel and picked up a four wheeler and a 125cc bike and started out to the village by 11:30 am. Pastor Benose and I were the ones who knew what to expect as we had been there before, but for the rest of our crew it was a whole new experience.  I could see the astonishment on their faces as we were driving--not on roads but on rocks and through deep river passes.

I was driving a four wheeler this time and I kept asking myself how in the world I drove my truck the whole
way. It must have gotten worse after the rainy season. It took us about three hours to get to the village from our starting point because our vehicles were not as tough as we thought they would be. On several occasions, the engines quit after going through some deep river passes.

We arrived at the church station safely, but later than we expected. The church has been in the community since 1986. The building itself looks like a little shack made out of palm tree strips and a tin roof. It's roughly a 20 by 15 foot building. Pastor Benose's heart is to restructure the building and make it a bigger more sturdy building because termites are attacking the current materials, which causes maintenance issues from time to time. The church has been growing over the years and there is not enough room to seat everybody. They have a conference every year and about six hundred people show up. 

I already told Woogy about the need but seeing it with his own eyes gave him a better grasp on the needs in the area and how his church could encourage Pastor Benose. We only spent about 40 minutes at the church after which we packed up to hike three hours up the mountain to a sister church. We spent the night up there and came back to the main church after our hike the next day. 

The evening we were supposed to head back to Jacmel, we were debating rather we should get back on our vehicles or stay at the church for the night. If we broke down in the dark, in the middle of a river it would not be a good thing. We all agreed to spend the night so we pitched our tent on a cement floor.

The sky started to get really cloudy and we could hear thunder rolling over the mountains. We started being really skeptical about staying overnight because the rain could make the river rise so we couldn't cross to Jacmel in the morning. The locals were not so afraid of the rain because it was coming from the South-typically, the rains that come from the East are the ones that cause flooding. 

Early the next morning, we packed up for the adventure back through the rivers to Jacmel. It was a much more slippery ride out of the village due to the rainy night, but thanks to God we were able to do the river crossings without having to swim. We could tell that the river had risen about 20% but not enough for us to turn back. One of our motorcycles broke down completely a mile from the city and had to be towed the rest of the way, but the most important thing is that we made it back. That brought us peace.

I remember asking Pastor Woogy after the trip if he sees any value in taking a team to the village and his response to me was a question: "Is there a church that has people there?" But yes, why would we not go since we are called to go to the corners of the earth to spread the good news of the Gospel. We are not the ones who are going to bring the gospel there because His love has already reached them. We are planning to go back there in February of 2016--when we don't get much rain--to serve as a reminder to the church that the church of God is not the little shack they worship in every Sunday. It is people from all over the world who believe in the sacrifice of the Holy Lamb of God, who wash their robes in His blood. We hope to do some needed physical work on the church building as we build relationships with the church members.

Going beyond nowhere with Pastor Woogy and Scott wouldn't have been complete without a hike in God's beautiful creation. There is one more post coming! 

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