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Who is Parenn? by Anne Dieudonne Pierre-Louis
Click here for the Kreyol version

It is always a joy to talk about Parenn.

Not everybody knows about parenn. Only those of my generation really know about him. I grew up with a man everybody called parenn. Adults and children used used the same endearing name to call him. Only when I became older did I really know that parenn was my grandpa.
 
His True name

            His true name was Balthazar Duverné Pierre. However at times people used other names to call him. Some people called him uncle ti nonm but brothers and sisters from the church called him brother ti nonm or pa ti nonm and the pastors in the area called him brother Duverné.

His Role in the Family

          His is the patriarch. He was among the handful of people in the area who knew how to read. He lived in a large estate upon which were scattered many houses. That estate was like a village whose houses belonged to his children. He had 7 boys and 7 girls. Even though he fathered these children with more than one woman I only knew one these women and everybody called her Tant. Not too far away was another estate that belonged to his brother Défense.

His Salvation Experience and that of His Children     

          Parenn was a veteran of the Cacos war. He fought at Grand Rivière du Nord where he got injured. He was shot in the leg. While he was recovering at the hospital  some European missionaries who were evangelizing handed out tracts to all the injured soldiers. He carefully read his tract and when he got well he was discharged.

          Upon returning home he gathered all his children. He told them: "from this that day forward we will all serve the Jesus to whom the tract referred." We will no longer serve Satan, he told them. Some of his children agreed with him but some did not.
          Everything he used to do for Satan now he did for God. He built a temple on the estate to allow everybody to serve Jesus. He told his children: "Jesus will return and everybody must be ready to receive Him. If you believe in Him He will take you with Him when He returns, but if you don’t believe it will not bode well for you."

          Around the same time and for the first time a plane flew by the area. When his children heard the plane they thought it was Jesus coming back. All those who had not received Christ ran to Parenn in fear to received Christ because they were afraid of what they saw in the air. It was how the remainder of Parenn’s Children surrendered to Jesus.

Evangelization and Education         

Parenn decreed that everybody had to fear God and everybody had to learn how to read. He sent three of his children to Cap Haitian to become preachers and teachers. Everybody learned to read so they could read the Bible. He taught a sentence to all his children and grand children. They would repeat that sentence upon going to bed at night and upon waking up in the morning. In the morning they would say : “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, good morning mom, good morning dad.”

At night they would say: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, good night mom, good night dad.”

After their meals they would say: “Thank you God, thank you mom, thank you dad.”

           He would gather the whole family every year. Every year all the children and their families from everywhere would gather in Bay, the estate. He desire was that the family to remain united and that each child to look out for the other and be aware of how each other was doing.

 His Death         

Parenn grew in years. One morning he told some of his children: “I don’t think I was I can make it through the day.” He asked them to sing and pray for him. As they were singing he asked them “where is this bright light coming from?” They replied “we don’t see any light!” He then asked them “How abouth these angels, don’t you see them either?” they replied “We have seen no angels.” As they kept singing his passed on.

          His vision focused on three main areas: the fear of God, education, and family unity.