This choir, the Hope Haitian Choir, is full of young people from Haiti who came to our church tonight and sang for us. They are currently on tour here in Maine and I was struck by a number of things during the sixty-minute concert.
This brother and sister sang about how God cares for them no matter how difficult things are. The boy talked about how they were both there when the earthquake hit and that they had people they knew who died as a result of the quake. He shared how it was the most scared he had ever been. Then he talked about the safety he has in Jesus. I loved watching him sing throughout the concert. The joy of the Lord just shone from him. All of the children were simply so happy and joyful.
The choir is made up of children ages 6-21. I thought they all did a fantastic job of having the songs memorized and singing. Most of the songs also had hand motions or dance steps. They even had a few songs where they simply danced or drummed along to them while there was a background track that played with other singers. As I mentioned, the joy they felt was expressed in all they did. Even when they all took turns during one song to come to the front of the stage and just dance - expressing their joy as David did.
This should be a lesson to us here in the States. Does the joy of Jesus come through in all we do? When we sing on Sunday morning, does our love for Him shine through? Will people know simply be looking at us how happy we are to be alive in Christ?
One young one spoke about how she became a Christian. It was a unique perspective I hadn't thought about before. She said that when you don't have Jesus in your heart, you die twice, but when you have Jesus in your heart you only die once and liver forever more.
There was one other reason I really wanted to go see this choir tonight at my very own church....the director...
Her name is Barb House. Along with her husband, Chuck, they have worked to bring these children (and their parents) here to the States and set up the tour. She told me tonight it's the hardest thing she has ever done in her life.
Why do I even known Barb & Chuck? I grew up in the same church. When I was five years old, Barb became my piano teacher. She was the music teacher in my school district at the time as well. I soon quit lessons only a few months in to them because I thought they were too hard. How I wish I had kept them up all these years!!!!
Fast forward to fifth grade when I decided to join the school band and I learned to read music. I was soon plucking out tunes on our piano but couldn't read the treble cleft (that's the left hand notes). So I asked my mom to take lessons again and she had me humbly ask Barb to teach me. She agreed and I spent the next few years doing just that.
It was fantastic to see both of them again after (gasp!) twenty odd years. I even met one of their daughters who was about nine when I last saw her. I never would have recognized her and she said my "face was familiar" but a lot changes over twenty years!
All money raised by the choir is being split three ways. One part will stay with the choir as they are planning to do this again next year. Please pray that this comes to fruition. One of the Haitian fathers shared that typically missionaries go to Haiti so it was unique for them to instead come to the States! Another part of the money will be going to Compassion International. In fact, one of the families here with the choir work at a Child Sponsor site in Haiti. My hubby & I sponsor two children and I think it's one of the best programs out there for child sponsorship. Lastly, another third of the money will go to Heartline Ministries which helps women and children in Haiti learn about Jesus and learn life skills.
I ask that you pray for this wonderful program and that it truly blesses all that it touches. If you'd like more info, please go to the Hope Haitian Choir website.
I'll end this post with a short video I took tonight of the children singing Jesus Loves Me and This Little Light of Mine. Enjoy.