Alright so our mission trip was to take “camp” to 50 or so students in the Baptist Children’s Home of North Carolina. Most of these students are in this facility not because of something that they have done, but because of something their parents have or haven’t done. It was heartbreaking to hear stories of teenagers who haven’t heard from their families for 3 years and who have no hope of ever going home. It was even worse to hear people talking about the Mills Home as the only place they have ever felt safe. I mean, the place is great and all, but there is no way a child should have to go through something like that. All week long we were bombarded by stories of the people who are supposed to love these children treating them in despicable ways. It was enough to break your heart.
But with all of that said, at their heart they are still teenagers. All of our worship gatherings were very high impact (we sang “No One Like You” by David Crowder at least once a day and sometimes 3 or 4 times) and the students loved yelling and jumping and pretty much just being wild in worship.
On Wednesday night I had an idea for a more mellow type of worship gathering. I wanted to bring them together and have an unplugged set where we sort of relaxed in the love of God and had a more traditional sermon type experience. This was the only night that we gathered together and I couldn’t shake the idea that we needed to do something soft and quiet.
Well, when it came time to actually practice the soft an quiet songs I almost changed my mind. I had been hearing all day from our Bible study leaders how the students loved the loud music, and I knew that I had seen response from them on the loud songs too. When we were practicing the slow songs seemed to take an eternity and I was sure that they were going to flop. But I still couldn’t get it out of my head that God wanted me to do something slower. As we are grinding through practice (our 100th practice of the week it seemed) I almost stopped us and changed back to the fast stuff several times. But in the end I went with what we had planned.
I have to say that for me it was the most meaningful worship gathering of the week. We could hear the students lifting their voices in praise and they were engaged in a way that was beautiful. To hear this group of students sing was pure in a way that I can’t describe. I was floored. It was such a true picture of God coming through and of worship transforming hearts.
Once again I move out of the way and give God space to work and he proves himself to be good. Maybe I should get out of the way more often.