Music 'Weaves Together' Life in Haiti
Lecrae & Michael W. Smith Minister to Haitians in Song
January 9, 2011 - For Christian rap artist Lecrae, performing in Haiti during the Franklin Graham Festival of Hope was an act of service for the hurting nation.
When I was here last year, my personal response was, ‘What can I do?’ My heart has been burdened since then.
by Janet Chismar
“When I was here last February,” he told the audience that packed the National Soccer Stadium, “there was a sense of hope that God would move. My personal response was, ‘What can I do?’ My heart has been burdened since then.”
On January 9, in both word and song, Lecrae ministered to the people who captured his heart a year ago. Reciting from Psalm 25, he told Haitians that “those who wait on the Lord will never be disappointed.”
He went on to explain his style of music: “Some people think rap cannot be used for God. But what the devil meant for bad, God means for good. Know that I worship in each and every song.”
Growing up on the south side of Houston, Lecrae Moore was raised by a single mother and heavily influenced by relatives who were gang members. “I used to admire gangsters and criminals,” he shared from the stage. “My life was so bad, all I looked forward to was one more day.”
He thought that to know God, he had to be good. But after immersing himself in reading the Bible, Lecrae learned he could never be good enough—which is why Jesus came to die.
“I no longer admire criminals,” he added. “Now I admire the King of Kings.”
Lecrae is one the artists who contributed to “Heaing4Haiti,” a compilation album whose profits benefitted earthquake survivors in Haiti. Produced by Integrity Music, the compilation also includes songs from Flyleaf, Israel Houghton, DecembeRadio, Hawk Nelson, Canton Jones, Lincoln Brewster and Michael W. Smith, who also performed as part of the Festival.
In an interview last year, Franklin Graham recalled how the project was conceived: “It was about 2 in the morning. Michael W. was calling me, saying, ‘Franklin, I’m producing this song for Haiti and we want to give you some of the proceeds to help down there. What do you need? How can we help you?’
“From that one song,” said Graham, “we went back to Michael W. and said, ‘There are some people who have helped us in our Crusades—different bands. What would happen if each band gave a song, and we made an album?’"
The result, "Healing4Haiti," includes "Come Together Now," a song written by Smith, David Mullen and Cindy Morgan.
While the album was being produced, Smith and Graham toured Haiti together. "What I saw while in Haiti is something we must keep in front of the minds and hearts of Americans," said Smith. "The recovery efforts are going to take a long, long time so we want do anything we can to raise awareness and to continue to support organizations doing good work in Haiti."
One year later, Smith returned and led the crowd in worship today. “I love you, Haiti, and God loves you. No matter how bad it gets our God is not far away.”
Along with Smith and Lecrae, long-time ministry partners Dennis Agajanian and the Tommy Coomes Band rounded out the afternoon of music. “We love music,” said one young Haitian. “Music in Haiti weaves together life.”LEARN MORE about the Healing4Haiti compilation and listen to clips in our online bookstore »