Monday, May 1, 2017

May 1st Agriculture Day, and a Voodoo temple, by Cory

Two big moringa trees at center and right were planted from tree seedlings in disposable cups we brought
for students years ago.
May 1st is celebrated as agriculture day at many schools in Haiti.

Peach palm offshoots for in front of church by the road.
Big enough to be goat resistant.
Friday we delivered about 330 chaya cuttings to Port Margot Wesleyan School for their Monday May Day program.

Also 330+ half page papers with instructions on planting and using the chaya bush/tree as a vegetable.

We continued to a school on the other side of Port Margot whose director would like to plant some fruit trees on the grounds.

 There is only room for a few trees but it is nearby so we plan to return on Tuesday with the trees.

Then on to another Wesleyan Church and school just over a hill into the Limbe valley to plant more trees.

 It is built next to colonial French plantation ruins.

There is an underground irrigation canal that still carries water from about 5 miles up the valley near Limbe and turns into a river where it exits the ground not far from the church.

 The canal probably hasn't been used or maintained since independence more than 200 years ago.

Last Wednesday we were in the same area, planting 100 fruit trees in a garden for a pastor.

The 100 trees filled the back of the truck and was a good amount for the size of the garden.

A few other pastors came to help.

After the planting, I was asked if I knew about the Voodoo  place nearby.

We had driven by several times in the past when visiting the Wesleyan Church, but hadn't really noticed.

 I had noticed there was a building next to the garden while we were planting, but could only see part of the roof.

From the road it could be seen better. "Funeral Chapel Park (of the) Holy Trinity".

I was told by the pastors that the owner has purchased a lot of land in the area, is well known in other parts of Haiti and has, or at least had under Aristide, friends in the government.

Visitors come from many countries. He also has a small hotel near the main temple and the funeral building but the road requires 4 wheel drive after rains to get there.

"Haitian Vodou Church, Gougoun Temple" The area is called Ba Limbe
The owner wasn't there but someone from the hotel opened the gate for us to see the big rock and sacrifice areas of the temple.

Years ago the rock had been pushed into the ravine when the road was made.

Some people were buried alive in an accident during the road construction and were left there.

Port Margot's police station was burned down several years ago and hasn't reopened since.

This makes the problem of theft and other crimes in the Port Margot area harder to deal with.

Some people have curses put on their gardens to protect from thieves. Some go to the voodoo priest to have the thief punished.

We wouldn't take entering this place lightly, only under the protection of God. As we said while there, "Jesus is King of ALL"

We have been praying more this year for God to protect his people and their gardens from harm from illness, theft, and free-range livestock, especially as the mission has experienced some of this oppression over the years.

It just adds to Haiti's hunger, malnutrition, and poverty when people get discouraged from gardening or manage land in an inefficient way because more productive use would just be stolen or grazed away.

The temple is only 4 miles away from the mission and there are dozens of voodoo leaders even closer.

The area churches have plenty of work to do to set people free from oppression and help them understand that God can and wants to protect them from the spirits if they, with a good church, will serve only Him. Not self, not the spirits.

We have heard many stories about supernatural events in Haiti that the average North American probably wouldn't begin to believe.

God is working here and much progress has been made but much remains to be done and many prayers are needed.

Colored flags represent various spirits, knives are stuck in the back pillar, small coffin under the red sheet.

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