5 Minutes of My Day: Dancing Mama

On March 11, 2014 by Bethany


It’s nearing the end of the work week for the team and we are gathering to have final worship with the staff and kids at the orphanage. The kids love getting to sing and dance, to worship their Savior, it’s easy to see they’re excited.

We begin to gather into a tiny walkway, “the porch” we call it. Our Haitian staff pick up the guitars and the kids pack in like sardines, worming their way under arms and over legs to sit next to their favorite participant from the day. Some have to stand, some sit, but they don’t care. It’s hot and humid and we probably smell similar to sardines as well, but we don’t care. 

I pause to snap a few pictures, since our participants do not.

I want them to have a picture of this moment, their last moment of the week with the kids.

Worship begins.


These kids can teach you over and over lessons in life. Hope amidst despair, resilience. Closeness in family. Even simple lessons like how to compromise or selflessness, how to share or look out for and defend those who are being taken advantage of. How to respect their elders, how to be patient.

Even the most important lessons, like the proper moves to “Pepsi Cola,” their favorite clapping game or the proper ratio of water to dirt for the perfect mud-pie.

But one of their greatest lessons is in worship.

They often put our very private worship style to the test as teams get to participate in the worship and intense atmosphere of over 80 orphans singing to their Father. Their young eyes leak real tears of longing, their prayers whispered say “Jesus, King of Kings.”


 About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”

 Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.  So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. – Matthew 18: 1-4 NLT

With one small hand raised high and the other clutching the hand of someone next to them, they sing together in little pairs. “…when You touch me, my soul trembles..” “Father, I need You, turn your eyes to look on me I beg..” Their voices grab your soul and its hard to not get emotional hearing them sing. My heart clenches in my chest. Father give me that kind of desperation and longing for You.

As our staff begin the transition to upbeat songs, we start to jump and dance! All in one mob of laughter and sweat and sweet presence of our Father surrounding us. We laugh and clap and sing and act silly and scream YAHWEH!


I turn my head and see our Mama cook, dancing in the background with a participant from the team, beaming from ear to ear. In that moment, barriers of culture were shattered, we were one family before Christ. Mama and us, we danced and shouted and sang and sang. 

My heart was pounding in the beauty of the moment, joy overflowing in audible laughter bubbling free from my lips, feeling Christ as a whisper of Presence warmed in my heart.

When the house mothers danced their way into the middle of our circle and led us in worship, we danced until we couldn’t any longer. In sweet unity we breathed in the fullness of Christ and grasped tightly to the moment, so full of life.

These little moments, so beautiful and precious. Never to be forgotten. This is what makes it worthwhile.


 5 Minutes of My Day is a series of the more intimate moments in our ministry. Launching off of something Eric said to me one day: “When you are overwhelmed or stressed and Satan is on you, focus on the little things. The small moments that make you remember why you live this life. Why you love this ministry.” So here it is, the good the bad and the ugly. Snapshots of 5ish minutes of my day.

One Response to “5 Minutes of My Day: Dancing Mama ”

  • AH! You make me long for my Haitian friends even more with this vivid description of their worship – filled with abandon and adoration! I, too, have tears of joy.

    Keep on Bethany – you are helping others of us visualize heaven’s worship!!

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