Tuesday, November 1, 2011


November 1st and 2nd are holidays in Haiti. Some churches held services or special prayer services to mark All-Saints Day. The voodoo people in Haiti celebrated Gede which is a day for the spirits. We took the children to Sous Zabette and then visited with Paulna her village. In this village you can see the contrast between the voodoo and christian faiths. Paulna's parents became christians when they were young. Paulna's grandfather was a "hougan" (witchdoctor). The hougan in the village lives near Paulna's family's home. This is his yard from a distance.
Coming closer you can see many types of things hanging... offerings for the spirits. Notice the chair tied to the dead tree. Looks like the hougan put out a chair so that the spirits could have something to sit on :)
I call this photo the "Conflict of the Cross". For the Christian faith the cross is a symbol to remind us of how our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and arose 3 days later and now is in heaven. For the voodoo religion the cross is for the haitian spirits. The hougan tied offerings to the cross. The voodoo religion is a religion of keeping the spirits happy. If someone is wronged they will go to the "bokor" (witchdoctor who does black magic) in order to curse the person who wronged them. The voodoo faith is opposite to the Christian faith. We don't need to tie any offerings to the cross. Jesus paid the price once and for all. Every year the voodoo religion celebrates the Gede holiday by offerings to the spirits and this is repeated all the time.
There is a remnant of a ceremonial fire smoldering at the hougans gate. He didn't like that I took pictures. I was friendly and said hello to him. We had brought medicine with us and Holly and Nicky were handing them out to people in need. I asked him how he was and he said that he had a headache. I gave him some tylenol. The children in the village were shocked :) I didn't cross the threshold of the smoldering fire and the 2 coconuts on the ground but he did come up to me and accepted the medicine. Pray for this hougan that like Paulna's parents his heart would be turned to that of a Christian. I am going to make a point that when I visit the village of Bonnette I will stop by and speak a few words with this hougan. I want him to know that Jesus Christ paid the price and that no offering that the hougan puts on his cross is necessary or good enough.

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