Cap Haitien Meditation
If I humble myself, my Lord will lift me up one day
Any gift I could give was His to begin with, anyway
If I labor to save myself, then it all will be for naught
How profound that a gift so pure was so painfully bought
All your dearest desires and dreams will be far surpassed
In the blink of an eye when faith is translated into fact
When you travel the road of faith, each mile is yours to earn
If proceeding with prayer, progress may be found at every turn
But if you try to complete His plans with just your own two feeble hands
Then your success will be much less than what might have been
If you feel a bit overwhelmed by reality
Keep your eyes on the prize that was won upon Calvary
If I had to describe my life in seven words or less
It would be best be expressed as “Proof of God’s willingness to bless”
If the people of this world gave me their attention
I would tell them that God is love, and Jesus is His Son
The only way to survive this world is to claim The One who made it
Lay your burdens to rest at the foot of the cross
Our mission team had two separate divisions – the larger group was comprised of healthcare professionals who would provide free medical care at a Port-au-Prince tent city, and the remaining individuals were tasked with helping to rebuild an orphanage that suffered earthquake damage, primarily to its protective outer-wall. For the construction crew, Cap-Haitien was perhaps the scariest segment of the entire journey. James Lamb, Logan Rubbert, and I arrived in Cap-Haitien just hours before the modest regional airport would close, temporarily separated from the rest of the team. We soon realized that our designated pick-up person was nowhere to be found. We waited with trepidation as the afternoon wore on. Thinking that we would fare better if we waited for our local contact on the street outside the airport, we decided to venture past the protection of the airport gate to have a look. We couldn’t leave our gear behind us, so we pulled it through the gate and set-up camp on the street outside. Shortly thereafter, the airport closed and the gate was locked. It appeared that we would have to fend for ourselves in a strange setting without guidance or protection.
Wilbert, a local man of prominence, swooped in to save us. He and his wife ran a Christian guesthouse in the city. He was also a top official at the airport and had been the first person we met once we debarked our plane. He had made curious note of us and had asked questions about our plans and accommodations. No doubt he had kept track of us as we waited for a ride that would never arrive. Suddenly he appeared out-of-nowhere, driving a pick-up truck with enough cargo space to accommodate our many totes and bags. He whisked us off as a gathering mob began to crowd us closer and ask questions about the contents of our containers. “Did you know that I just saved your lives?” Wilbert declared to us as we sped-off towards his walled compound.
But, WAIT – the story progresses. That night, sleeping safely in Wilbert’s compound, we awoke to the ominous sound of distant, pounding drums. Exchanging worried glances in the dim light of our sleeping quarters, we wondered what it all meant. Thundering drums from one section of the city were answered by other tumultuous drums sounding from somewhere across the metro. “Spooky” doesn’t even begin to describe the tone of that memorable night. Somehow we eventually returned to sleep.
The next morning, we were informed that those pounding drums were, in fact, a call-to-assembly for the local voodoo churches. (Those drums would become the inspiration for the percussion track for this song, although I should add that the drums I had recorded are completely different in tone and rhythm than those frightening originals) This explains the desperate, somber tone of the song and the contemplative lyrics. Our thoughts were steered towards our own mortality amidst the backdrop of a dangerous setting with many uncertain variables.
Again we immersed ourselves in prayer, and again we were blessed fantastically. A Port-au-Prince pastor/orphanage-director just happened to be making a delivery to Wilbert’s guesthouse the next day. Relieved of his cargo, he had space and opportunity to carry us and our gear to the destination we so eagerly sought. And transport to P-a-P was exceedingly difficult and costly to acquire during that phase of The Great Quake’s aftermath. To make it even more comfortable, the back windows of that van were tinted to conceal us and our gear, and the pastor’s friend and traveling partner just happened to be an armed, off-duty police officer. Perfect.
Truly, our time in Cap-Haitien was an opportunity to thank God for His continual protections and deliverance.
Cap Haitien Meditation (Sample)
Guitar / Vocals – Troy Erickson
Bass – Guri Magen
Brass / Glockenspiel / Percussion – Fred Marcoty
Cello – Anat Nevo
© Troy Erickson 2017