by Calise Gritters, MH4H trip participant
As I woke up in the cool of the morning, I smiled to myself, knowing that today was Sunday, the day of rest and worship. After many days of “doing,” I am always thankful for a day to simply praise and worship our God.
As we walked to the church in Savanette, I couldn’t help but notice how utterly underdressed all of us Americans appeared to be compared to our Haitian neighbors. Dressed to the nines, men in suits and ties swaggered down the dirt road accompanied by their female counterparts whose dress was just as stylish. Personally, my “Sunday Best”—even in the states—doesn’t compare with their fancy clothing.
Upon entering the church, legliz, we were ushered up to the very front row: a place of honor, outfitted with plastic lawn chairs for all fourteen of us. As with every Haitian worship service, the praise sung up to heaven was loud and oh, so beautiful. This service, however, was special.
Today, pastors and choirs from many of the local churches were present to witness and celebrate the ordination of Savanette’s newest minister. While the ordination was taking place, the neighboring ministers encircled the pastor and his wife and each began praying for the newly ordained pastor and the church. It was beautiful to see a couple being surrounded in so much prayer as they were about to embark on a new chapter of their life: leading and guiding a church.
Once the service was finished, our group took family pictures of the members of the church. Then, a lunch of rice, beans, and chicken was served.
After some downtime at the MH4H compound, our group headed back to the church for a concert. As many people who have gone to Haiti already know, the quality of music is second to none. Nothing in Iowa can compare to the raw voices of our Savanette neighbors singing their hearts out to God. The melodies from small singing groups danced around the walls of the church and poured out into the community, attracting more and more people as the night progressed. Soon, the church was teeming with the dancing bodies of Haitians young and old, who freely sang along with all the worship groups. Even Perry got up on stage with his guitar and led the church in English songs, chante angle. As cliché as it sounds, I am always reminded of what Heaven will be like someday when I sing and dance along with our Haitian neighbors, not always knowing the words to the songs, but knowing that all the glory will go to the God we love and serve.
Looking back to yesterday’s events, I can see how God uses worship to draw his children closer together. Language barriers and cultural differences can confuse and almost decay our desire to make a connection with other people. But, when we collectively sing and shout and dance for the Lord, we know that we are all one in Him.
Revelation 7 paints a picture of what heaven will be like one day:
I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language…And one of the elders asked me, “Who are they, where did they come from?” …These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; never again will they hunger, never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb of God will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.