Monday, April 18, 2011


Every year there is a group of churches that put on a crusade in Thomassin, my town/area. It sounds like it's normally held on the soccer field at the top of 48 (near the guest house) in December, but this year the crusade was moved to Holy week. The location had to be changed because the soccer field is too muddy, so the crusade is being held on the school yard next to my house.

I went to the opening night festivities on Sunday with my boyfriend. The crusade officially starts at 6pm, but the singers and organizers start preparing ahead of time. I could hear music starting well before 5pm. I love listening to worship songs play throughout the neighborhood. The crusade has some fantastic musicians, so their music is especially appreciated. When we arrived it was worship time. We sang songs for about an hour, but we stopped a couple different times for some really long prayers. One of the prayers was for all the people who lived in the area. The guy prayed for people who are sick, dealing with marital problems, looking for employment, and who are dealing with a host of other issues.

Singing is my favorite part of church, especially when it's all in Creole. I'm getting pretty good at singing the select Creole songs I know. But what's even better is that I am picking up other songs pretty quickly. Sometimes I only catch phrases, and other times I know the English words to the same tune. The crusade allowed me to practice some songs I have been learning at church, but also gave me exposure to some songs I've never heard before.

After the singing there was an offering. I felt like the offering was a little awkward. Some guys stood in front of the crowd and anyone who wanted to give something walked up and dropped their money in a basket. It was a very drawn out process. I suppose the awkward part was that I felt like sharing the Good News with people should not be preceded by asking for their money. There are 30 churches who are working together to put on this crusade, and it seems like they should be able to share the costs so that they don't have to ask the community they are trying to reach for money. I guess I need to explore a little further my thoughts about taking an offering at a crusade.

After the offering a pastor was introduced and he gave the message. He read a long passage in Ezekiel chapter 19. I should probably look it up and see what it was about. After that he talked for a long time, and said the phrase "moun ki aksepte kris..." or "ou bezwen aksepte kris..." about every other sentence. (That translates to people who accept Christ... or you need to accept Christ...) Seriously, it was a bit repetitive. However, at the end there were some people who came forward for the alter call. There were pastors standing by ready to pray with anyone who wanted to accept Christ for the first time or rededicate their lives to him. There were several little old ladies who went first and then some more people. In all there may have been 15 people who eventually went forward.

I was super excited that people are eager to begin or renew a relationship with Christ. I'm especially excited about the young people I saw go forward. I don't know any of them by name, but I recognized a few of them from school. Their new found commitment to the Lord excites me. I hope that the crusade continues to refresh and awaken the faith of those in my community.

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