One evening we were invited to come see the boys do their devotions before bedtime. We arrived into a scene that would be typical when a bunch of young boys are put together. They were laughing and playing and enjoying a fun summer evening together.
Then Mama Karris called them in for devotions. The boys got in a circle. Karris then asked who wanted to lead them. An eleven year old boy, Likindley, stepped into the center of the circle. Without any prompting, and without the slightest tint of unease or awkwardness, he began to softly sing a song. All the other boys then joined in with it. He continued, with no prompting, shifting from one song to another, some in Creole, some in English, and the boys shifted with him. One of the songs they sang was “God of this City,” which moved us all powerfully.
This went on for a while, and we were in awe. Then another little boy, Guy I believe, stepped into the center of the circle and began to pray. Because he prayed in Creole, we couldn’t understand his words, but the prayer was very clearly powerful and heartfelt. We later learned that among other things he was praying for us, thanking God that we were there, and praying for our safety. While Guy prayed, some of the boys got down on their knees. During the prayer some of the boys softly sang, while others prayed silently. I remember one, Thiery, looking upward with eyes closed and hands open, very very clearly experiencing the immediate presence of God. At one point they began to recite, impromptu, the 23rd Psalm. One line in that had meaning like we had never experienced before. “You have prepared a table before me, in the presence of my enemies.”
I can’t do this scene justice in words. In my entire life I have never seen any adult ever worship like that. Those little boys, orphans in a wrecked, desolate and wicked place, connect with God in a very real and personal way.
Five years ago Thierry was found wandering the streets of Port-au-Prince, abandoned and nearly naked. From there he went into a home where he was beaten and abused, before coming to Danita’s. Guy was born HIV positive.
These children, “the least of these,” taught us something about God’s love that evening that we will never forget.