The walls were made of tin and the roof was a hodgepodge of tattered tarps. Men and women from the village brought chairs for us to sit on as barefooted children crowded in taking their seats on roughly hewn benches.
As I sat with an American friend on one side and a Haitian pastor on the other, I felt oh so far from home. And I was, both literally and figuratively. I was a foreigner intruding in someone else’s world.
Then they began to sing.
I couldn’t understand the words but the melody was familiar. Just weeks earlier I had listened to my own children sing Father Abraham and make the same silly motions. As I listened to collective voice of the Haitian children, I was no longer a stranger in a strange place. I was a fellow worshiper among a group of God’s people. My body was far away from my Iowa life, but my spirit was at home.
It is amazing to me how God has taken people from all over the world to be his own. My children sing Father Abraham in a modern church building with a concrete foundation, insulated walls and a solid roof above their heads. Children from the village of Thomaseau, Haiti sing in a makeshift building with a dirt floor and a roof that barely blocks out the hot sun. But God loves them the same. He loves the little boy in the front row with the Spiderman t-shirt just as much as he loves my own little boy on a field trip in his camouflage sweatshirt.
And one day, we will all be worshiping together in God’s throne room in heaven, and we will not feel like strangers or foreigners, but like brothers and sisters. And it will be a day worth waiting for.
9 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
**To learn more about Mission to Haiti and their incredible ministry, click the link in the column at the right.