Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Haiti Trip - The Joy of the Lord

On September 1st, Mackenzie and I, along with our friend Chelle' and 16 other individuals from across the U.S. traveled with The Global Orphan Project to Haiti.  We spent 5 days around the Port-au-Prince area, visiting orphanages, playing with the kids, and learning about the awesome work that GOP is doing in Haiti.  I'll post more about that later.

Because I'm finding it nearly as overwhelming to sort through all my pictures and thoughts about the trip as it was being there, I decided to just get started sharing a few things that touched me while I was there.

Today, lets talk about "Trading My Sorrows".  Yes, the song.  You might sing it in church.  You might listen to it in your car.  Maybe you're like my hubby and you play it on the guitar with the praise team at church.  But, how many of us really live it?  How often do we really choose joy?

We drove through the streets of Port-au-Prince and destruction was seen everywhere.  Over a year after the earthquake. Yet these things remain:  Tent cities.  Shanty areas.  Rubble.  Trash.  Smoldering fires.  Stench.  Ashes.  Poverty.  Pain.  We spent hours with children who had lost everything.  Homes destroyed.  Parents dead.  Siblings gone.  Nothing to call their own.

Amazingly, do you know what else we saw?  Beauty.  Love.  Smiles.  Joy.  Hope.  We heard laughter and singing.  We watched dancing and playing and rejoicing.

One of the men on our trip took some drums with him when we visited the orphanages.  The older boys especially loved playing them.  Over and over, at each orphanage, the drum beats would start.  Some kids would dance.  Some would sing.  They'd sing praise songs.  They'd sing "Trading My Sorrows".  

i am pressed but not crushed
persecuted, not abandoned 
struck down, but not destroyed 
i am blessed beyond the curse, 
for His promise will endure 
and His joy's gonna be my strength 

Again and again, as I listened to them sing, my heart was pierced.  Haitian orphans, amidst the rubble and loss, choosing joy.  And me, a blessed American with everything I could possibly ever want or need often not choosing it.

 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
Psalm 51:12

Yes Lord, Yes Lord, Yes, Yes, Lord.

 Pictures to contrast the destruction with the beauty and joy!

Trading My Sorrows 

I'm trading my sorrows
I'm trading my shame
I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord
I'm trading my sickness
I'm trading my pain
I'm laying it down for the joy of the Lord

We say yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Amen

I'm pressed but not crushed persecuted but not abandoned
Struck down but not destroyed
I am blessed beyond the curse for his promise will endure
And his joy's gonna be my strength

Though the sorrow may last for the night
His joy comes with the morning