“Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon the earth.” – Psalm 67:3-4
Our first full day in Haiti has been spending time with a people whose hearts are glad and sing for joy. As I sat tonight in under a tin roof, listening to the Haitians sing, I couldn’t help but think about what surrounds them and yet the reality that they sing about. 2010 rocked the Haitians world as they knew it, both figuratively and literally, as an earthquake brought devastation to this developing country. While built up in certain areas again the streets are still rough and rubble-filled. I can only imagine, too, that many people’s lives were impacted by such a disaster. And yet, tonight these brothers and sisters in Christ sang of Christ being the only rock that they stand upon. It brought to bear the fact that while circumstances may be shifting for these fellow believers, their faith is unshaken. As we say many times, joy is not circumstantial, but rather found firmly planted, rooted and grounded in Christ.
We began this morning with a similar expression of worship seeing five new brothers and sisters profess their faith in Christ, through believers baptism. Each baptism candidate gave their testimony, whether through personal account, poem or song. It was so encouraging and exciting to hear them share of the joy that they have being brought from death to life and to plead with any who they meet to be reconciled to Christ. As we sat under the preaching of the Word, in Luke 3:21-22, we were reminded that as our identity is bound up in Christ, God is pleased with us, because He is pleased with His Son, who Himself was baptized, pointing to the step of obedience for the believer. I pray these new believers continue to grow and bear fruit in keeping with repentance.
Gladness and joy continued to be seen in the lives, too, of the kids we played with at Child Hope this afternoon. Many of these kids, while not true orphans are orphans by poverty. Once again, poverty doesn’t define their position, at least as I could see and sense on their faces and lives as we played soccer, bubbles, and balloons. I couldn’t help but find myself praying Psalm 67:4, that God would guide them and this nation of Haiti to bring more and more into His fold.
Pray for us tomorrow (Monday), as we minister with Outside the Bowl in their feeding program and ministry to a maternity hospital. May we bring gladness and the joy of Christ into their lives.
Written by Ryan Martin