“¡Más Rápido!” They shouted. Their claps grew faster and faster. I wondered how T’s fingers were keeping up playing the piano to the tempo. A, J, and I were singing “Every Move I Make.” We all laughed as we began the hand motions, and repeated the “La la la” part a million times. I think we sang the entire song about five or six times.
The Dominican “church boys” as we dubbed them, sang with us as best they could. We call them our church boys sort of as a pet name. We love them so much and they are so close to our hearts, that’s just the name that we use to best describe them. The love they have for God and the fire they have for Him are simply incredible. They are all so genuine and I only have good things to say about them.
The night we sang “Every Move I Make,” was not a special night. We had done this sort of thing after the church services a couple nights now. But these times of making music together and worshiping God were incredible. The velvet black sky blanketed the town, and a few small, white diamonds sparkled against the contrast of the nearby lurking thunderheads. The fifteen or so of us huddled in the corner of the sanctuary, getting to know each other, laughing, and worshiping the God who brought us together.
That’s the thing: it is God who brought us together. He brought two completely different cultures, languages, and upbringings together into one building, in one Spirit, all for the sole purpose of making music and worshiping Him. I think it is incredible how in planning the creation of the world, knowing how absolutely everything would play out, in creating each individual, including the fifteen of us in that church, he planned it so that our lives would meet, intertwine, despite the fact that we were all born three thousand plus miles apart. He included in our lives the gifts of those nights, evenings when our hearts filled with the joy that we took part in in worshiping our God. It is still almost unbelievable for me to think that in the planning of my life, God would give me a taste of heaven among people so far away from me, across an ocean, and on an island. He allowed language, culture, and history to not become barriers. It was just us, before our Father, His Spirit inside each of us.
I miss my church boys, my brothers. God allowed me to love so greatly and to be so completely full of joy. When I left, I left my heart in the hands of those I fell in love with.
Saying goodbye was actually one of the hardest things I have ever done. The people there made me so complete, so alive. They became my family, my friends, and I could trust them in that short stay as much as I could trust somebody I’ve known my entire life. The heart I gave so freely now tore with each tearful goodbye. I cried for days, and it hasn’t gotten much easier at all. I have this dull ache, this constant longing to be with them again. But God has given me comfort in these revelations.
The first regarded my brothers. The times we shared both in worship and just hanging out were all incredible and full of love. That amazing joy I had in sharing my life with them came only to a temporary end. Yeah, I will hopefully go back next year, but that’s not the temporary I am referring to. I am thinking in eternal terms. For the first time in my life, I was so glad to be able to rejoice in the fact that we could spend eternity together, worshiping even more than like we did at the church those nights after the services.
The second was that taste of heaven I received from the people and the church there. They had so much love and trust for each other, so much community, so much fire for God, and they just let me join in like I’d been there my entire life. I never knew how great it could be to become a part of something like that, but it made me so full and complete. If something to incredibly beautiful could exist on earth, how much better will Heaven be?
So yes, I can say I have given my heart and had to leave it behind, but I left it with my family three thousand plus miles away. It was worth every minute.