And this is the loveliest sound when your children cry out, we were lost now we're found.
The loveliest sound to you is the sound we're making now.
- Starfield: The Loveliest Sound
These were the lyrics that flooded my mind yesterday morning as I sat on a wooden pew bench in the Church of Hope. Walking down the hill I agreed with Rachel that there would either be no one at church (as a result of the serious fuel shortage in the country), or it would be packed. Before we even reached the doors, we had our answer. The church was overflowing. From the newest born baby to the eldest senior. They were there. Arms outstretched above them. Singing. Clapping. Dancing. Worshipping.
It was overwhelming.
How people who have lost everything. EVERYTHING. Can have the strength to walk miles in the scorching heat to sing praises to their God.
As I stood in the crowd we sang words like 'You are altogether wonderful to me', 'You are good all the time', 'Oh God, you are awesome', 'My life is in your hands'. And I was stunned.
I thought about my life. The amazing blessings that I am living in the midst of the pain right now. I am living in one of the only safe places on this island. Water comes out of my tap. Lights guide my way in the dark. I have food in my belly. There is a roof over my head and walls around my house to protect me from the heat and wind. And beyond that, I have a home in Canada. My loved ones aren't unidentified bodies in the street. I am able to access infinite resources. My education and bank records are still intact. And on and on. If something were to go wrong in this place, I have a plan B. The people in Haiti do not. Today is all they have. Period.
I reflected on this whole idea as the congregation sang around me. Without the plan B. Without my house. Without my family alive and well. Without food and water..... I can say quite surely that if I were to be placed in the condition of 99% of this country, I would not be in the mood to worship.
And yet the people sang on. Wholeheartedly. Surrendering everything. Completely in awe and giving glory to their God. Their King. The same one who allowed this destruction to happen. They are thankful for life. They are thankful for freedom. And they believe that He is a God who saves.
I will never be able to fully express how much the Haitian people have taught me about living by faith and worshipping God for who He is. And today was just another example. Another testament of the faith and trust that they cling to.
As the service progressed, I opened my bible and read through the book of Zechariah. How I stumbled upon it is still a mystery as I have never really connected with much in that book, but that was before Tuesday happened. From there, I found verses 16-19 in the 3rd book of Habakkuk, and then I flipped through Job... All of these books parallel stories of destruction and new hope. Just as God wept for the struggles of His people in the Old Testament, so He weeps for His people in Haiti. He feels their pain. He hears their cries. And He has not abandoned. I believe He will save.
Over recent years in Haiti, there has been a lot of good come out of many Christian mission organizations, healing brokenness and barrenness in this needy country, and those efforts were not in vain. However, scripture reminds me that we have a reason to hope for an even better future. He makes all things new. He is a God of second chances. He is the great Healer.
There is already evidence of this revival in the lives of the Christian leaders from the Mission of Hope that He spared, in the bright light that is shining out into the darkness of Port-au-Prince through our medical teams, in the huge jet planes that scream through the sky 24 hours a day bringing medical supplies and food, and in the countless lives that accepted Christ during an altar call at church yesterday morning.
I know it isn't going to be a quick fix. It is going to take years and generations for us to fully see the transformation, but every step forward, every song, every prayer brings healing and hope. Haiti has a chance to start over again, because God's chosen people are still holding on. Their lights are shining brighter than ever before, and they are still singing. It's the the song they are making now.
And through this, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that it is the loveliest sound.