One of the evening rituals around here - at least on weekends, that has emerged lately is an interesting dance between the older boys and older girls. After all the other kids are in bed, these 17 are still up. The girls on the Galri of their house; the boys in the courtyard down below. It usually begins with one group calling out to the other - heckling one another, imitating one another, talking to one another. Thus begins the "conversation." It seems to be more than joking and less than flirting. It's teasing and taunting and childish and fun all rolled into one very loud and seemingly chaotic, yet extremely beautiful dance of energy and noise and love. Tonight as I tried to talk on the phone to Diane about medications for ill children, there seemed to be a riot breaking out in the courtyard. Suddenly a cadence broke through. And then a song. The two blended - a bit back and forth, overlapping, mimicking but not imitating. A give and take. In no time at all we found ourselves sitting in an all out worship service - Haitian style. The girls would sing and dance a song of praise to God. The boys, in response, would beat out on their makeshift drums a song in response. The girls sang another song, the boys another. It was a cross between one of those street dancing movies where you have rival dance crews and a karaoke night. It's an amazing experience to see these kids who have been through so much sing with glad faces about a God who gives and a God who takes away...a God who is Big and Mighty and Strong...a God who loves and cares for them and will continue to provide and be there for them. This is True Worship - the kind done with reckless abandon. The type that springs forth from your soul - unsolicited by others - and bursts forth to bring praise from others. That's what life is supposed to be about. I could have listened for another hour...but it was late, and we must be good parents and encourage the children to get to bed. But it reminded me of a Friday night two weeks ago.
We had a group in from Ventura Mission Church and as their last night we had gathered our chairs in a circle in the Basketball area while the kids watched their weekly movie in the Kitchen area. We were singing worship songs and talking about all the things the group members had learned, seen, and observed while here when we realized the kids movie was over and they had formed a circle of their own, mimicking ours, in the middle of the courtyard. They too began singing worship songs together. Some of the Haitian staff got involved and led the kids in a variety of songs then dancing and singing and chanting. It was so moving! So amazing to see them just enjoying themselves and praising God. We ended up heading over and joining them and the party lasted for at least another hour.
Kyle tells of her toddlers breaking into songs while playing and what a joy it is to catch a glimpse of what goes on in these precious children's heads when they are playing and don't realize they are being watched. That is what I think of when I am lying in bed at night and the girls begin to sing and I want to ask them to be quiet because it's late (9 pm) or early in the morning when I don't want to be awake yet...but then I think, there is nothing that would truly induce me to squelch this beautiful overflow from their hearts, and so I realize how blessed I am to be a witness to their unhindered hearts towards the God who has walked them through amazing trials and in whom their Hope lies.