Marching Bands and Building Churches

It was a short walk from the temporary place they had been worshiping to their new church building but after years of meeting in cramped, rented facilities the congregation didn’t just walk from the old to the new. The entire congregation formed a parade, complete with marching band, to physically and symbolically move to their new building.

IMG-20130929-00232Singing songs of praise and thanksgiving to express their joy and excitement both young and old marched together to a celebratory dedication service in their new church building.  This congregation’s journey to get to this point was long and the result of much hard work and sacrifice on the part of the entire congregation.

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First came the band – then some guests – then the children

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I dug out my suit for this event

It was a privilege for us to be able to celebrate this event along with the Jacquet Christian Reformed Church of Port Au Prince even if it was a six (6) hour church service. This congregation was celebrating what they had been able to accomplish with God’s help.

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Ribbon cutting

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There were choirs

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There were speeches and presentations and more speeches

This church building was constructed over a number of years through a partnership between the congregation and SON-Beam International and with major funding from Trinity CRC in Goderich Ontario. An answer to prayers by many of the congregants as a way for them to be able to purchase land and build a building of their own.

SON-Beam International is an organization from western Michigan that provides construction design, engineering services and funding to ECRH (the Christian Reformed Church of Haiti) to build or re-build churches.  Trinity CRC in Goderich had a faith giving campaign to fund the construction of their own new church building and they tithed 10% to help churches in Zambia, the Dominican Republic and Haiti build as well.

The ECRH has been blessed to build or re-build 8 ECRH churches in the past few years. Churches are provided with funding to purchase property, construction materials and hire field supervision while the local congregation hires tradesmen and provides food to feed the workers and volunteers. In this way the congregation takes ownership of the construction project and the final building. This coming year, through similar partnerships, we hope to see 5-6 churches constructed.

If this is accomplished there will be more church dedications and more long church services but it will be a joy to witness the prayers of God’s people answered as another congregation has a place to in a community to be “the church”.

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