I can’t remember if it was the unfamiliar language or the unusual worship patterns (or both), but something was breaking me down. I suppose that there is a certain amount of nervousness and fear that comes with every sermon I preach, but this was different. It was the sudden realization that even though I was using an interpreter, there was a great possibility that my sermon would only be understood by the 9 other blancos (Americans) in the room.
It seemed like it hit me all at once: I was in Haiti; I was in a remote part of Haiti; These people look and act different than me; these people speak a different language than me; these people are worshiping in a different way than what I’m used to. What can I possibly preach about that these people would understand? Talk about a terrible feeling to have 15 minutes before delivering a sermon!
Looking back, I can see that I was in need of being broken down. I needed to be vulnerable and humble so that I could experience what God had in store for us. I needed to not make it all about me, because it was in these moments that God took over.
What I experienced in those next few moments is what our team is calling a “mini-Pentecost.” I realized that none of those barriers mattered because worship language is worship language. Did I understand every word they said? No. But did I understand that they were singing praises to the One True God? Absolutely. God gave us a glimpse of the Kingdom there at Thoman. People from different nations, races, tribes, all coming together to praise God. God was showing me that I just needed to let myself experience this worship service for what it was meant to be- a true vision of the Kingdom of God.