Flood Victims Wait Out Danger At Shelter, Then Gospel Song Breaks Out And Fills Hearts With Joy
Joshua Patton 9/6/2017
In the Book of Psalms, the faithful are advised to "make a joyful noise" to show the world the power of their beliefs, and a group of volunteers took that advice to bring comfort to evacuees during the historic hurricane that devastated southern Texas.
In a video posted to Facebook by Joni Villemez-Comeaux, the group of volunteers led by Victoria White, an admissions counselor for a nearby university, sang an a capella rendition of "Spirit Break Out" for the people riding out the flood in a shelter some 40 miles north of Houston.
Some might say that, in a moment of great loss and turmoil, they turned to God and sang their hearts out. Yet, this singing was meant both as an expression of their faith and also as a way to use the human instrument, their voices, to soothe the worries and calm the fears of people who feared they could be losing everything they'd worked for to a natural disaster.
As Victoria told CNN's Chris Cuomo last week:
"What do I see in their eyes? You know, when we first walked in the door, you may see a little bit of despair, some hopelessness, but by the time we leave, we're seeing tons of joy, hope and love."
Along with Victoria, volunteer for Others Outreach Mission Marquist Taylor told CNN that he sees it as his duty as a Christian to do whatever he can to help bring relief to those who are suffering or fearful. He also said he is inspired by the way these people, displaced from their homes and lives, are still able to try to be positive and happy.
In this age of constant (technological) miracles, Victoria and Marquist's simple performance resonated far beyond the few dozen people taking shelter from the storm at the Lone Star Convention and Expo Center. Nearly 500,000 Facebook users from across the globe shared the video of this song and the video has been viewed more than 20 million times.
In a separate Facebook post, Joni Villemez-Comeaux wrote:
"I had the opportunity to see up close and personal the resiliency of the human Spirit alongside THE most compassionate volunteers. Then walks in Victoria White and friends. This woman's powerful voice, singing praise, lifted the Spirit of all within earshot. Hard to believe but close to a million people have already viewed this beautiful Soul spreading her gift. You're such a blessing."
Joni writes about the true miracle of this moment captured on video, one that can't be ignored. While we humans can't control the weather and can seem powerless in the face of nature's fury, all it takes is that simplest human instrument, our voices, to make even the darkest nights a little brighter.
You can watch the full video of the impromptu performance below: