"Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted."
Matthew 5: 3-4
As we walked up to The Sweetwater House today, we were greeted with the voices of angels. The girls worshipped God with hearts bowed and hands lifted high in a manner that brought a knot to all of our throats. The Lord was already setting the tone for what was about to happen.
When worship came to a close, we took our seats as Isabella stood up to share her testimony. She began by saying it has been her desire to tell us her story. Our eyes were focused and our ears were attentive. Her gentle and sincere spirit captivated everyone in the room. She told of how she moved from home to home, living with different extended relatives and how she worked different types of jobs on the street in order to provide for herself. Times were hard, but she never gave up. A relative noticed an advertisement for Sweetwater House and shared it with her. She came, applied, and was accepted.
When she arrived at the school, she was completely taken back by the warm welcome she received. She felt loved. She explained how the home has blessed her, provided for her and been an answer to prayer in her life. She thanked God for this ministry.
...Then she transparently revealed her pain.
"You may be wondering where my parents where in all of this..." She said.
Her eyes filled up with tears.
The room was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. We all felt the weight of her hurt.
"They are gone... along with my sister."
Tears fell freely down her cheeks. She didn't need to say another word. We all knew what she meant. We all began to mourn with her. I lifted my head and looked across the room. Many of the other girls were wiping their tears. They too have lost parents.
Suddenly, the most beautiful ray of hope made it's way through the thickness of sorrow surrounding us. With a quivering voice, Isabella began to sing - praising God for what He has done for her - for saving her.
"Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning?... And who told the ocean you can only come this far?..." The words barely escaped her mouth as she cried quietly. "And who showed the moon where to hide till evening? Who's words alone can catch a falling star?"
Then, in one accord, we all joined her song through our tears...
"Well I know my Redeemer lives. I know my Redeemer lives. Let all creation testify, let this life within me cry, I know my Redeemer lives."
She closed her eyes tightly and lifted her head toward the sky as she continued singing.
"The very same God that spins things in orbit, runs to the weary, the worn, and the weak. And the same gentle hands that hold me when I'm broken," she wrapped her arms around herself, as if to symbolize a hug from God, "they conquered death to bring me victory....
And I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry
I know my Redeemer lives."
I don't know if I've ever heard someone worship with such depth of sincerity. She believed the words she was singing, and they penetrated the hearts of every soul in the house. Later she shared that "REDEEMER" is her favorite word. God Redeemed her life and gave her hope when she had none; we thanked Him with her and for her.
|Isabella and me.|