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Church Office

Hours:
8:30 to 4:30 Monday - Friday

323 South Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia  22314-3716
Phone: 703-549-6670
Email: opmh@opmh.org

Haiti Reflections - John Klousia, 2009

 

As we gather for worship on this World Communion Sunday, we will hear stories from the Christian community stretched around the world. In these stories, we hope that you will also hear a call to worship and praise God through mission and service, for these are the most tangible manifestations of our unity in Christ.

For my wife Lee and me, this became real on a mission trip to Pignon, Haiti. Easter morning was a clear and bright day, the same sky as was here in Alexandria. We awoke at the crack of dawn to the serenade of roosters -- but also to the more melodious singing of an a capella choir.

With the rest of our group, we had decided to worship with Pastor Gregious, whose tiny church we are supporting. After a week of working in the hospital, we switched from scrubs to our best clothes and walked the short way to the church.

Not the kind of church that this congregation was gathering in that same morning…this was simply a cleared space among the shanty houses.
There were rows of split log benches and over one section there were bedsheets, stretched between poles to shade us – the guests of honor – from the Haitian sun.

The altar was a makeshift table covered with a simple cloth and adorned with plastic flowers. There were no pew Bibles, no hymnals, no programs.

The service began with Pastor Greg singing with his daughter a Creole hymn in the most perfect effortless harmony. Dozens of people, many children dressed in sparkling white, drifted in. He began reading the Easter story referring only occasionally to his copy of a well worn French Bible. Although none of us could speak Creole, the story is so familiar that we could easily follow along. “the stone was rolled away – the tomb was empty” “He is risen! – He is risen!” The message was unmistakable.

Sitting under those bedsheet shades with this small gathering of humble and sincere folks, I thought of how those same words were being spoken in this sanctuary, probably at that very hour, and of how the Easter story of hope calls to us, no matter where we are. I felt the most wonderful connection that Christians have – miles and miles apart – in such different circumstances – but all hearing these universal words.

It became clear to us that it is thru these moments, and perhaps only thru these moments, that our true humanity in Christ is realized.
 

 

Last Published: December 9, 2009 12:20 PM
Old Presbyterian Meeting House 323 South Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 703-549-6670