Friday, January 6, 2012

The Citadel

Theologians talk about a prevenient grace that precedes grace itself and allows us to accept it. I think there must also be a prevenient courage that allows us to be brave - that is, to acknowledge that there is more beauty than our eyes can bear, that precious things have been put into our hands and to do nothing to honor them is to do great harm. And therefore, this courage allows us, as the old men said, to make ourselves useful. It allows us to be generous, which is another way of saying exactly the same thing." - from Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

After Christmas we visited a forgotten story.
It is a sad story. It is a story filled with sin and flaws and sometimes pure evil. It's also a story of great human ingenuity. It is a story of courage. It's a story of a people who were dead set against being driven back into slavery. A big-budget Hollywood movie should be made about this story, but won't be. It's a story that has been forgotten by most of the world and isn't being preserved the way it ought to be.

One of our missionary friends said that Haiti's biggest export is poverty. In many ways he's right. Before we got here we had the impression that there wouldn't be one tree standing on the entire island. We thought we'd see many people who were starving to death. At the beach last week we saw beautiful coral reefs that we didn't think existed in this country. We didn't figure there would be anything beautiful here. That was the story we heard.

That story is wrong.

The Citadel. It was made as a last-stand just in case the French came back.
They never did.

The view from the Citadel. The Atlantic ocean in the distance. On clear days Cuba is visible.

Looking over the edge. One slip means certain death. No way would this be allowed in the US. 

I wonder when Mr. Bonaparte realized he lost this canon.

And this one.

And this one. (Many canons where stolen from French ships we were told)

The Citadel had endless passages.

We had some followers around some of the ruins of Henri Christophe's castle.

The remains of the castle. It is down the mountain from the Citadel.

Inside there is row after row of canons aiming out in all directions.

My three favorite people in Haiti (and in the world for that matter)

To be sure, there is poverty here. A lot of it. But that's only one side of the story.

There are beautiful beaches in Haiti. There is food here. A lot of good food. The mountains display the splendor of God. The people reflect a magnificent Creator. Paintings, that display the artistic side of these people, line the streets! There is a rich history in Haiti. Here are some pictures of that history.

1 comment:

  1. Wow I didn't know that some cannons had 'art' on them! Thous are really pretty!
    Haitian views are awesome! I like the mt and ocean! (That's part of the reason I want to move to NC, and use to want to move to New Zealand, plus they don't have snakes...)
    Miss you guys!!!