Overcoming the language barrier

Our team from Mt. Pulaski Christian Church arrived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti this morning. We were greeted by Mission of Hope, our hosts for the week, and then driven by school bus to our home-away-from-home in Titanyen. No one on our 20-person team had visited Haiti before today. Every sight and sound was new.

When you experience something new, it’s common compare what you’ve known to this new unknown.

The airport. The traffic. The buildings. The homes. The landscape. The people. The language.

Creole is the language of the Haitian people. We were given a small list of greetings, questions, responses, key words and phrases prior to our arrival, but pronunciation of a new language has its complications. And that may be understating it a bit.

After eating a yummy lunch that included seafood rice, we had the opportunity to travel into the village of Source-Matelas and put our Creole into action. As our bus pulled into their community, we were instantly greeted by children of all ages. We gave our best interpretations of a greeting. And more than once, it was evident that my best pronunciation wasn’t always being understood.

So I pulled out the one thing I’ve found to always work when words cease to be enough.

A smile. c3624dff4cc77f44d2df1d51c782a80a

A smile is it’s own language. And it’s recognized everywhere.

A smile. It welcomes. Calms. Invites. Mends. Assures.

A smile shares joy.

And that’s exactly why we’re here–to share the joy that we have been given through the love of Christ Jesus, our Heavenly Father.

We truly have so much to smile about.



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