Report by Pastor Jeremy
“Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One, give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son…” For many of you reading this, that is a familiar line to a praise song written years ago. I’ve sung that song hundreds of times in my life. But today I heard it in a way I’ve never heard it before: from a small group of Haitian children in an orphanage not too far from the mission house. Bro. Chuck invited me to accompany him up the mountain to take some food to the children. I always enjoy spending time with Chuck, so I certainly took advantage of the invite. I was little prepared for how my heart would be stirred and how I would be moved in such a way I’m not sure I’ll ever “get over.” At least I hope not.
We got to the orphanage and were greeted by beautiful children who seemed happy to see us. After we delivered the boxes of food, we were invited inside the main building on the property, which resembled a pavilion at a local park. It was nice. Block walls, open windows, concrete floor, and some plastic chairs. Suddenly, one young man pulled out his guitar and began playing “Give Thanks.” His playing was accompanied by sweet voices of the other children, who had gathered in a choir-like fashion, as harmonies broke out on the chorus: “…and now let the weak say I am strong, let the poor say I am rich because of what the Lord has done for us…” I couldn’t hold back the tears.
In America, I’m not so sure we fully grasp what it means to be poor or thankful. I don’t mean that to be rude. It’s just that when I see young orphaned children, living in such poverty, sing “let the poor say I am rich…” it takes on a whole new meaning. Jesus asked what does it profit a person to gain the whole world and yet lose his soul? Jesus got it. Jesus wants us to get it. What’s the it? To grasp the fact that because of God’s love expressed through Jesus, we all have the opportunity to be rich! Rich in what really counts. Our happiness, our gratefulness, should never be determined by what’s in our bank account but rather by what’s in our heart: Jesus.
Today I was in the company of some rich kids. No…not by the world’s standards. But I was in the company of some children that Jesus gave His life for. I’m humbled and tremendously honored that I got to be in the audience as the best version of “Give Thanks” I’ve ever heard was performed for our Father.