Every Friday, we’re taking a peek at how God is working in the lives of our high school students. These servants of Jesus are walking daily by faith as they navigate the hallways and relationships inside their school walls and beyond. Our weekly series will highlight what God is up to in their lives in their voices. Leave them some encouragement by commenting?
by Tyler Brooks
Worship. It can fill a solemn room with joy, a dark place with light. The beauty behind a multitude of voices singing out praises to a holy God is indescribable. A sense of jubilation and serenity infiltrates the room, and One can genuinely sense the Holy Spirit’s presence, making this experience like nothing else. There is truly nothing like being in a place of pure worship, of pure praise to our God.
This past summer I was blessed with this experience several times in the starving country of Haiti. God had given me the chance to serve alongside side 20 fellow believers from Immanuel Church on a trip that changed our lives — a trip that would alter our perspectives on worship and paint a true picture on what it meant to praise God with everything. One can’t truly comprehend what life is like with the bare minimum until placed into the situation. Even still we were only there for one week. The Haitian peopled live like this, in extreme poverty, their entire lives.
During the six-day span in Haiti we visited four to five churches, each one having its own heart-warming story, its own set of struggles. Yet each one glorified God with more than it had.
On the fourth night, as usual, we crammed into the back of several trucks and took an adventurous ride to one of the nearby churches. Upon our arrival the local Haitian people would come up and greet us, rejoicing in any sort of acknowledgment we gave them and more than eager to show us around. We would spend time fellowshipping, not through words, but hand motions and physical touch. There always seemed to be some unspoken friendship between us and our Haitian friends.
This particular night, as we found our seats in the tiny, two-car garage sized church, amid a multitude of young children, all squeezing in between us, jumping onto our laps when room on the wood benches was gone, even sitting on the dirty concrete floors, patiently waiting for the service to begin. When it finally started it was unlike any church experience I had ever been to. It was truly a night of pure, beautiful worship.
Two young girls walked up to the front the building, no lights on them, no microphone in hand, not even an instrument to be played, simply the purity of their voices. When they began, almost as if they had been practicing for months, the children jumped in full force. They belted out praises to God in Creole, rejoicing with everything they had. They held nothing back. Never in my life had I seen kids, no more then ten years old, down on their knees, hands raised high, glorifying God.
How could someone with nothing show so much gratitude to God? Compared to them I have everything, yet I constantly can’t find it in myself to show God the level of praise He deserves. Seeing and hearing them sing for truly nothing but Jesus broke me down. I felt God’s presence in the room. And although they were singing in a different language we will all promise to you that we could understand what they were saying. Whether it was the power of the moment or truly an act of God, we worshiped Him and all His glory side-by-side, hand-in-hand with our Haitian brothers and sisters in Christ. Shamelessly and completely.
From that day on I challenged myself to worship God as the children of Haiti did. With everything. Why hold anything back? We are praising the creator of this Universe, the giver of life! Why do we, why do I struggle to give Him proper praise? He continuously blesses me in so many ways. We must stop approaching worship as an obligation but instead view it as a way to display our gratitude for God – to simply say, “Thank you!”
Tyler Brooks is a senior at Warren Township High School; he’s involved with numerous student ministries along with the Tech Team during Sunday morning services. He also shoots videos for the church and other because his passion is photography/videography!