watching, reading, and writing stories

Lessons from Haiti: United in Worship

on August 23, 2013

Hopefully you’ve been reading my recent posts about Haiti, but just in case you’re new, I’ve been writing a blog post for each day of my recent trip to Haiti. I am now on Day 3!

Day 3: United in Worship

Haiti Church

So, I was finally in Haiti, and I awoke Sunday morning excited to see God at work. After a delicious breakfast of pancakes and guava juice, our group gathered to go down to the village. We were going to our first Haitian church service!

Now I was excited about this. I’ve been to a lot of different churches, and each one is different. Even the ones in America can vary drastically from each other. I’ve been to Lutheran and Nondenominational, mega churches, and small cowboy churches. I’ve even been to churches in other countries like Mexico and Germany. I’ve heard sermons and songs in English and Spanish, German, and Latin. But I’d never been to a church service in this little Haitian village.

I went into this knowing that Haiti is different. This wasn’t going to be some grand cathedral or well manicured building. It would probably be pretty small and basic. And indeed, when we had walked the five minutes to the church we found a small wooden building with no AC, and a lighting/sound system that was supported by a finicky generator. Services didn’t start exactly on time, or have a specific ending point. But it was still a church, still a gathering of Christ-followers, and still a place of worship.

We stepped inside and quietly found some seats on wooden benches. Now I don’t speak Creole and even the few words or phrases I had learned before the trip weren’t very helpful, but immediately I started to engage with the service. God provided a visiting pastor that also spoke English to communicate the basics of what was happening in the service. I was able to follow along in Philippians as the pastor taught, and even though I couldn’t tell what he was saying specifically, I knew it was true.

Then the church began to sing, and it was amazing. I knew it was worship; beautiful worship that pleased God. I was amazed at how beautiful and loud the worship was, without all the fancy equipment we use in America. I didn’t know the words, though sometimes I recognized the tune, but I was able to join in with their worship. I longed to sing with them, even though there was no projector or hymn book to lead me. Eventually I even tried to sing along by following the girl who was leading the songs. She would sometimes sing the next word or phrase and I tried to mimic the sound with the congregation.

But whether I sang or not, I was still worshiping God in my heart. I was so in awe of God and how His love reaches to every corner of the globe. I think I got a glimpse of what heaven will be like; there are no barriers, no walls of prejudice or pride, and people from every tongue and nation will just worship Jesus together.

And I happen to have a video of some of the songs that were sung. So feel free to watch, and join in worshiping God too.

So what did I learn from all this? Well I learned that there is a unity in God’s church that cannot be broken. No matter if we are white or dark skinned, speak Creole, Spanish, or English, rich or poor, we all belong to God and the greatest thing we can do is worship Him. As I took part in the communion, I remembered that people all around the world were doing the same thing; remembering what Jesus Christ has done for us. He really is the one who unifies us.


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