You’ve gotta respect the missional heart of a man who moves his wife and three daughters from one of the fastest growing economies, full of friends as well as resources like good schools & one of the best open air markets around, to Canaan.
Canaan is hot (even for Haiti) as it seems to bake some days on the hillsides where dust flies and trees are scarce. The market is developing, but holds no candle to where Samedy’s family used to live. Everything is more expensive, and school is over a half hour of traveling every day for those same three daughters who were just uprooted.
But this pastor felt that he was supposed to go, not because of CPR-3 or a building or a job, but because He had a burden from God on his heart for the people.
When we drop in unexpected, I love how this love for the community manifests itself. There are always people in Pastor Samedy’s home, from neighborhood boys to young women who enjoy passing their time with Samedy’s wife Venise. Their daughters – Ruth, Schama, and Pheobe – are used to the odd passersby being invited in for a meal and with no question will help grab a bowl of food from the pot that was purposely made with a couple extra servings for whoever is in need that day. One of the babies from the church sits on a lap with corrective braces on her feet that were paid for with the sacrifice of both her parents as well as Pastor Samedy – not that he wants anyone to know.
In the middle of this, we find Pastor Samedy in the back of his home washing laundry in the sun as his wife cannot do physical labor with complications in her three months of pregnancy. He scrubs in the sun as poles for the church dry on his roof, he treated them this morning as he invests in this ministry that he continues to believe that God called him to.
Life is hard, the community is not quick to understand why Pastor Samedy’s church does it differently than other churches, and there are real struggles that come with any family – especially one in Haiti.
But in the center of it all, I leave Canaan with fingers just waiting to get to a computer and talk about this missional heart. From uprooting a comfortable life to persevering once planted, Pastor Samedy only shows a deeper love for the people of Canaan as he gets deeper in seeing how much need there is where God chose to call him. His wife does it beside him and his daughters live in the center of a missional home where pouring into others is as natural as doing chores delegated by mom. Boys of the community are watching and a young mother who was baptized just months ago is flourishing as she passes her afternoon with the pastor’s wife. This is the heart of the pastor of Canaan.