I experienced my first cross cultural Easter experience, and it was one of the most blessed mornings I have ever had the privilege to be a part of. I woke up at 3:15 am to the sound of the choir practicing. The team got up, dressed, and got to the service right as it started at 4:15. I, however, laid in bed and listened to the beautiful choir singing. I got up, put on my dress, grabbed my hat (women cover their heads in church) and walked out of the house to see an extremely packed church. And when I say packed, I mean packed. There were about 1000 people present.
The pastors/churches in Pignon and the surrounding communities formed a pastoral alliance. I walked into a service that had 20 churches/pastors represented, all on stage, and 6 different choirs. These churches get together every Easter for a sunrise service, and they rotate which church it is at each year. We worshipped the Lord under the black of the sky. As they sang in creole, I sat back and soaked in the beauty of it all. The singing lasted until 6:15 am, and then a wonderful Easter message was given. I don't know what he said, but I do know he talked about the resurrection of Christ. It was a powerful message, full of the spirit.
The sun rose during the message, and all I could think about was when Mary Magdalene and the other women went to the tomb of Jesus, and he was not there. Then the angel spoke to them, it says in Matt 28:8 "so the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy..." How amazing...to be the person who found that Christ had risen from the dead; He defeated sin and death.
We took communion together...2 different races, 2 different languages, bought by the same blood. At the end of the service, the choirs lined up on each side of the street, with the rest of the people behind them, and with the FanFa (band) playing, we walked down the streets of Pignon praising our Lord and Savior to the town square. People from the houses came out to see what was going on. I would love to know what these people were thinking as they watched this take place.
The people made a huge square around the town square, and continued to sing praises to our King. I looked around, took it all in, praised my lord and saviour, and let Him speak to my soul.