Port-au-Prince at Night, a Different Side of Haiti
After experiencing Haitian worship in Canaan that morning anticipation of getting to go to church again was building.
Rick, the co-founder of theVine.co had a meeting in Jerusalem, Haiti that evening so we were going to head to Philadelphia under the guidance of his wife Samantha. We all piled into another tap tap that our translators had secured for us. This time we were heading into Port-au-Prince at night.
Being someone who usually is aware of their surroundings, that and I did research, I was prepared for the adventure or so I thought.
We loaded up the remaining food from that morning along with some shoes that had been brought and headed to church. You could tell the air was different, the excitement palatable.
On the way through town we saw another side of the Haitian community. The streets were busier with more tap taps, motorcycles and pedestrians. About half way to church it began to rain. Normally not a problem, of course tap taps are somewhat open so we got a bit wet.
Port-au-Prince at night, was a different side of Haiti, one full of energy and excitement as the people gathered in the streets.
When we arrived at church, much like in the morning they were already worshiping. They quickly escorted us to the front of the church where they had seats for us. Keep in mind this church was in a concrete building about the size of a convenience store with no a/c.
Admittedly it was crowded and man was it hot. However it was not that noticeable once we became enraptured in the raw worship of the Haitian people once again.
Much like the church that morning they welcomed us with open arms (something our own churches could learn from). Sam got up and gave a brief introduction to the team and told the congregation a story about a conversation she had just had with the wife of the pastor.
You see she had talked with the pastor’s wife, and she shared how the church had just started a food bank. The pastor’s wife told Sam how she was not sure how or where she would get food to share. By God’s design not ours we had brought ample food to at least get it started.
Before service was over we had to leave as we still had another stop to make that evening before it got too late. We piled back into the back of the tap tap and headed into the night towards the hospital in Port-au-Prince. A few days before we had arrived Tony, our translator’s wife had a baby and Sam wanted to pay her a visit.
On the way to the hospital we saw more sights and sounds of Port-au-Prince’s nightlife. From the vast array of street vendors and other people on the streets it was busy. Tap taps as I had said earlier were a source of public transportation where people jump on and off as they please. Usually there is someone in the back to collect the fair as the person gets off. While driving down the street we had a young man attempt to join our party in the back of the tap tap even though it was not in public service. Our security detail quickly explained that it was not for public use and he jumped back out into the night.
When we arrived at the hospital it was obvious from the get go that this was not your normal hospital that we were used to. Behind the gates at the entrance was a table where the guard checked people in. Even after haggling with the guard only the women in the party were allowed back to see Tony’s wife and newborn.
What we saw over the next few moments in the hospital changed my heart, shattering it into small pieces so to be built back up again.
The Mission to Haiti series is soon coming to an end, yet just the beginning of my story.
About Charles Johnston
Charles is a Christian, husband and father of fur-kids who shares his walk with others in hopes to help other's along the way.