09 May 2017

gardening for 50 years

I like to keep the blog "real time", but I cannot keep up with our own life right now, so you're two days behind!  We'll catch up here eventually.
But this post is about Saturday, which was an awesome, incredibly long and exhausting happy day.  Starting at 2 o'clock was our final 50th Anniversary celebration, hosting ONE THOUSAND people in the Vaudreil Church for a big 'ole choirs and preaching and testimonies time of alumni, staff, professors, students, presidents, deans, etc.
It did start at two.  And we finally got out of there at 6:45 pm, one minute after the service ended, and skipped out on the reception, which hadn't yet started.

That, folks, was a lot of choirs, testimonies, preaching and sharing.  However, when I pointed out to a weary student that 33 items on the agenda WAS. A. LOT...he grinned and pointed out that it HAS been 50 years.
That's true.

It was really special to have EBS founder Dave Graffenberger with us (both for this event, and for life, actually.  Dave and Marilyn are missionaries here in Haiti STILL.  Again.  Again and still.  They're two of our favorite people on the island, and I loved sharing this very long day with them.
Lucner, our Academic Dean and brother, who started working at Emmaus the same second we did, was the man behind all the 50th celebrations, and he was just fabulous.  Always energetic, always positive, always dynamic Luke.

True to form of ANY truly important celebration, there was a marching band.
Almost all of our students were there, ALL of our staff was there, lots of alumni, lots of previous staff and deans.  
And now here are lots of pictures from the service...
our current students led worship...
Area schools and choirs joined in...
Honestly....everyone joined in.  
The only sad absence was that none of our EBS board members were able to be there...a day we would have loved to have shared with them!  But...I guess they would've of had to bring their own chair if they had!
A few people may have fallen asleep, but overall, it REALLY was a good and meaningful service, with lots of great stories from the 50 years, and a lot of great testimonies and words for the future!
Our friend Enoch won the most dynamic choir director award...they were AWESOME.
Awesome times of corporate worship...
Rev. Bastien spoke on the importance of gratitude directing our lives and ministries, despite circumstances, because of who He is alone...it was a great message.
We very wisely asked Gertha to hang with the girls.  They appreciated that.  But that doesn't mean there weren't lots of kiddos there for the whole service!
Matt had a very formal, French devotional prepared for this momentous occasion, and then threw it out at the last second.  This would send me into panic attacks, but Matt frequently abandons ship and changes course when the Spirit leads. 
Instead, he spoke about all the seeds God has scattered at Emmaus the last many years, and about how it is God who plants and God who waters and God who grows...all the glory to God.  He talked about how we work better together, just as rice without bean sauce is just meh. He talked about his role being one of an ambassador of Christ, pruning and watering and helping and harvesting God's work.  I wish I could share it with you like he shared it with us.  
It was a powerful time.
Then there were special plaques for each of the previous leadership roles...I love Lucner as much as Lucner loves Dave :)
And then Lucner shared a testimony of his and Matt's journey at Emmaus together, and I was so touched to be there for that.  

I'm not a good enough photographer to capture this sacred moment like it was, but in Haiti, one of the forms of individual or corporate worship is to wave one or both hands as you pray or sing...Looking around the rooms at 1000 hands, 2000 hands waving, waving His presence, waving His glory, waving His praise as we prayed to close was really...sacred.
We closed out with ti-Esther, a 10 year old girl who almost won our EBS 50th singing competition last week, and who just has a FABULOUS and fearless voice.
God has enriched us greatly just to be this one tiny little part of what He's been doing through Emmaus for 50 YEARS...I'm so incredibly grateful, and grateful to the many of you, too, who ALSO are. 

Wish you were there!!

Next...Fourth Year Banquet, sending off Ethan, and Graduation 2017!

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