Before I share my morning with you, I want to elaborate upon my time at the children’s home. I was so concerned last night about the privacy concern that I don’t think I sufficiently conveyed a couple of my key moments, each being a particular dance. The first was to the song “Beautiful Beautiful” by Francesca Battistelli. Here are the first verse and chorus:
Don’t know how it is you looked at me
And saw the person that I could be
Awakening my heart
Breaking through the dark
Suddenly your grace…
Like sunlight burning at midnight
Making my life something so beautiful, beautiful
Mercy reaching to save me
All that I need you are so beautiful, beautiful
Seeing their faces and hearing some of them sing along to this song, just having learned how some of them were dropped off at the home with no papers, no identity, and no date of birth – total cast offs – filled me with wonder, hope, and joy.
The whole hour was delightful. But then the last song came on, and in that moment, it was as if all of the disparate aspects of my life came together as they did a Jewish circle dance to one of the most famous traditional Jewish songs, which we all learned to sing as children ourselves, “Hiney Ma Tov” from Psalm 133:1:
Behold how good and how pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity.
I think we have so much to learn from these Haitian children!
Now to this morning… A few days ago Sarah confirmed that I would be speaking at the Sunday service at a church in Saint-Marc led by Delson, the gentleman who was my translator when I was here in 2012.
A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine in Ottawa emailed me to say that he was going to be praying for various aspects of my Haiti trip, but not so much the teaching segments, because “You (meaning me) are used to that.” With all due respect to my friend, there is nothing routine about my Bible teaching, and that’s even more true here. In past posts I have already shared my awareness of the great cultural chasm between me and the Haitian people. If God doesn’t provide an effective communication bridge (figuratively speaking), it would all be futile. So I indeed pray. What came to mind seemed risky to me, but as the days went by, I felt stronger and stronger that this was the message I was to bring.
I planned to teach on Romans 9:1-5 where Paul shares his anguish over his beloved people. While one point I wanted to get across was God’s heart for the Jewish people and to encourage the Haitian believers to pray for us, a key aspect was to explain that it was important to express the grief and sadness we may feel at times. Christians are sometimes wrongly taught that they need to be happy all the time. I wanted them to understand that there are times we all (including men) need to cry.
Could you imagine how I felt when driving to the meeting, Delson mentioned to me and Sarah that his dear, dear older brother died last Sunday at the age of 45, leaving behind a family. His brother was like a father to him. This was the first indication that I was perhaps on the right track. But then on the way back, he thanked me for my talk, and said that during the service he was actually in tears over his brother and had been struggling that this was a indication of weakness, while I explained that no, God himself cries over tragedy. While we can rest in the certainty of God’s love and that we have hope beyond the grave, we need to grieve over our losses. I am so grateful to God for his leading and provision!
Pray for Delson, his family, and the important work he is doing in Haiti.
If this evening goes as planned, I hope to share some pretty surprising photos tomorrow.
Till next time!