La Seringue (La soo rain)
Village N 18-38-235 ; W 074-23.265 Grid Coordinates: 64.578 60.801
La Seringue is the third of seven churches we are working with in Anse du Clerc. La Seringue is a small fishing village located on the western tip of the southern peninsula of Haiti. The trip by road to La Seringue is about 4 hours from Jeremie. The road after Abricot proved to be very difficult.
The pastor is Fatil Petit. (fa-till pe-teet) He is a 3rd year seminary student in Jeremie and lives in Biwot which is west of Anse Du Clerc. Pastor Petit is 28, single and has been the pastor for 1 year. Pastor Petit walks 3 1/2 hours, one way, to La Seringue every Saturday and returns to Biwot on Sunday afternoon. He told me that when he arrives in Biwot, his legs are very tired.
When we picked Pastor Francky up in Anse Du Clerc, he brought 4 men as “security”. It seems that the government had not paid the workers repairing the road so they were burning tires and dug trenches across the road to keep vehicles from using it. His concern was that we might encounter the men along the way. We did not see the men, but did have some challenges circumnavigating the trenches they had dug. We also had a problem with an unexpected meeting between a hidden stump and the transmission cross member on the truck on the way to La Seringue, but were able to continue to the village. We discovered that the cross member was bent causing the drive train to be misaligned. This caused a severe vibration in the drive train. But, thanks to God, we were able to return to Jeremie and the next day we removed the cross member, beat and pried it back into the proper shape and the truck runs at 100%. All of this with the help of our friend, Yvrose’s, driver Felix and his tools.
Upon arrival, our first stop was at the church. The church sits on top of a hill just before you arrive in the village. The church building is little more than branches and palm leaves.
There are 33 regular attenders. 23 adults. A few of the adults can read, none have bibles. 5 of the adults who attend are not Christians.
This is a picture of Pastor Francky and Pastor Petit standing next to the church. Pastor Francky has started several projects there. They have a cistern that is partially completed that he hoped to use to capture rain water that the community could use. Right now they get water from the river which is polluted by villages up stream. There is a foundation for a permanent church as well. Not surprisingly there is no money to complete the church so it has not progressed beyond the laying of the foundation walls.
There were about 20 people gathered near the church, so I had the opportunity to speak to them to explain why we were there and that we would return. I prayed for them and God’s blessing on their village. It was apparent from the interaction Pastor Francky had with the people in La Seringue, that Pastor Francky has a good relationship with them.
After leaving the church we descended to the village. They not only catch fish, but also harvest Conch. The people are obviously very poor. They asked mostly for medical assistance. Francky introduced me to the village elders who were very cordial. The man on the left seemed to be the leader of the two. He showed me his house and told me that Martie and I would be welcome to stay there should we spend the night at some point.
The people need clothes, shoes, medicine, and the Gospel. There are about 1000 people in the area … most living on the mountain sides. As you might guess, it is isolated with virtually no utilities or clean water. There is a small catholic church/building in the village but it appeared to be abandoned. I was told there is a considerable Voodoo influence in the area. Not surprising given the isolation.
While we were preparing to leave, Kim and Danny shared the gospel with a young man using the Evangecube. The young man immediately prayed to receive Christ. They connected him to Pastor Petit and we received a report that he was in church today. Kim and Danny also shared with another man who said he wanted to accept Jesus, but wanted his family to receive him also so he would bring his family to church the next Sunday. Talking to Pastor Petit later, he said the other man told him that neither he nor his family had clothes to wear to church but promised to come when he did. This is a common tale among all of the churches I have visited. I will follow up with Pastor Petit on this. We all sensed that the fields are white for harvest there. While taking the information for the survey from Pastor Petit, he told me that he wants to improve his English and asked if he could come by the house to meet with me to talk. I have been praying that God would give me opportunity to disciple young pastors as I had in Jacmel. I believe this will be my first opportunity. Please pray that God will give me even more opportunities.
Next Update – Donglise (dawn – gleece)