Those were the words of Mr. Bellegarde, the lay leader at Trou Jacques, as we processed up the hill to cut the ribbon on the new church. After waiting over 15 years, with the faintest outline of a foundation that previous partners had left unfinished, this lovely community overlooking the mainland from high atop La Gonave finally realized an answered prayer.
They could use work on their school buildings. They need a more dependable source of water. They are miles away from healthcare and could have asked for a clinic. What they wanted was a church. And 3 years ago when a group from Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta visited with them and sat down for a serious discussion about their needs, their prayers were heard.
A stalwart group from Central, led by Jennell Charles and joined by the lovely family of Howard and Margaret Montgomery, led the drive to raise the funds needed to build this church. And it is a glory to God as well as a tribute to the work that Howard and Margaret Montgomery did for Christian Education in their lifetimes.
The day was glorious in weather and spirit. The people of Trou Jacques are warm, generous and worship in song and dance in ways that will make you weep…and weep we did! The procession was led by the The Right Reverend Jean Zache Duracin and the former priest from La Gonave, Pere Valdema and many people from nearby communities came to join the church and be baptized by Bishop Duracin.
Pere Vil, the priest in charge of La Gonave, worked for weeks to see to it that every detail was perfect. His hospitality and hard work made it a most memorable occasion.
After the offering was collected, in a display of gratitude that brought many to their feet and all to tears, the youth of the church came down the aisle with gifts of fruit, vegetables, flowers and foliage. Dancing all the way and singing the glory of God. We were at once struck with the majesty of large gifts and the faithfulness of smaller offerings. All given with equal love.
After the service there was food for everyone and much celebration as families gathered to take pictures and join in the homecoming that followed. There were hundreds of people and the party covered the hillside. But, by the next morning, every piece of trash was cleared and the church was spotless. It belongs to the community now and they will never forget what it took to make it happen. To God be the glory…and many thanks to those who chose to act as instruments of God’s peace.
For the Partnership