Arcahaie went over four months without a drop of rain. Winter in Haiti is the dry season. Aside from all the dust, it was quite pleasant. The humidity was way down, and the temperatures were much cooler as well. It was a time to grow a few crops that may scorch in the summertime, in fields that are irrigated via canal systems that are fed from the mountain, where the rain still comes.
The return of rain in the lowland is sure to keep things interesting. Since many of the Haitian people walk to work or school, they don't much care for rainy days. A daytime rain is an uncommon occurrance, but when it does happen, things shut down. Last week the children had two days off of school for "rain days." Street vendors have to pack up their wares and lose out on potential income. Churches will cancel if it rains on a Sunday morning or any day through the week when a meeting is scheduled.
In all of our time here, though, it's never rained on a Sunday morning, and the opportunity to preach has never been lost. Two weeks ago as we were leaving Oscar's church, a downpour started, just after the service was finished. It's also never rained in the evening when a Bible study was scheduled, with the acception of one church. Pastor Odmi's, with a large group of young people who are hungry for the Gospel, have still come to the Bible study on multiple occasions in the rain. This is completely contradictory to how they've been raised, and how other groups still operate. One evening last week, it was still a beautiful, clear afternoon at five o'clock when the Bible study started. As the sun went down, though, the storm clouds also started rolling in. A few young ladies got up and walked out to try to get home and beat the rain, but it was too late. The downpour was moving its way across the banana fields and reached the tarp-roofed church in no time.
The Bible study continued relatively uninterrupted, until the rain was hitting the plastic overhead so hard that only a person's immediate neighbor could be heard over the noise. Those who sat under a leaky tarp were soon shuffling to find a dry seat. Water soon began running in under the palm-leaf walls, transforming the packed dirt floor to slippery mud. The front of the little structure had been covered with enough gravel that it was still dry enough ground to stand on. As the sun sank below the horizon and the driving rain continued, a group of young men were still quite involved in the discussion. They, Barry, and the translator were soon huddled around the small table with their Bibles open and their cell phones offering enough light to see the Word.
What a blessing to see young people so hungry for biblical discussion! He feels like they're "getting somewhere" with this particular group and aims to see them as often as possible.
The rain was also a notable event during our move into the nearly-completed mission house. We prayed it would hold off long enough to make it over from Barbancourt with our belongings in the back of the pickup. Barry pulled out of the driveway and headed away from Barbancourt, and the rain followed right along behind, but didn't catch up.
Once those items were unloaded and we were trying to get situated for the evening in the new house. It rained and rained and rained. It waited long enough to finish moving that evening, but came in time to put out buckets and catch water for much-needed showers that night. It was another little event that reminded me how well the Lord handles all the little details for us.
We are looking forward to a trip back to the US in a few days. We pray that it can be a time to be renewed, that we can return to the mission field refreshed to continue sharing the Gospel.