What is church?
Today we experienced what church really is.
In America most our churches are surrounded with walls, topped with a roof, and filled with chairs. While this description fits the basic churches of America it is not The Church that Jesus talked about. The church is not about walls, sound systems, chairs, crosses, or floors. The Church is the people. The Church is Christ in us, all of us as one body.
This morning our team got to experience what The Church is, or more like Who the Church is. Today in the poorest country in the world, in the poorest neighborhood, in the poorest district, we had church. We had church on top of 14 feet of garbage, dirt, and buried dead bodies. We had church for the first time on this plot of land by telling one man to spread the word about church on Sunday. One man, and God did the rest. People and children poured into the lot which will one day be a beautiful church building.
Today we had church in a circle, with one microphone and a guitar. We had church Haitian beside American, naked children in arms, holding hands, praising and singing Jesus loves me. Every detail wasn't planned out, there were bumpy moments, but above all there was God. What a site to see people standing on a mound of garbage praising, hands in the hair, lifting up bold prayers, and trusting in one God who came to save and love all of us.
At church this morning, I (Emma) got to sing to a little boy about 4/5 years old, who, unlike all of the other children was not smiling. When I started to sing “Jesus Loves You” to him, ignoring everything else around me, this boy got the biggest smile. Each time I told him Jesus Loved Him his face would just light up. What a blessing to be a part of this community, this Church that Jesus united, where his presence is our joy, where his love is what brings smiles. I think we all learned valuable lessons about the Church today, and were each touched in unique ways. As for me, today was an epic love letter from God to us. A love letter that many wont understand, but to me will be a long treasured souvenir.
After church, we got the opportunity to drive up the mountain and visit some markets. We business students put our sales knowledge to the test bartering with the locals. We saw amazing paintings and tin decorations. The crowning glory of it all was the view which we got to witness briefly before being encompassed in the refreshing mist of the clouds.
To finish off the night Jeff Gacek spoke life into us. He shared his story of chasing success, and encouraged us to pursue significance. God has chosen each of us, at this time to be here together. God has a purpose for each of us. I ask you to pray with me for Holy Discontents within this team as we wrap up our trip. Let us be vessels of His love, letting His purpose flow in and through us.-------Emma