All the Nations

By Dr. Jo Anne Lyon

Jo Anne Lyon recalls a memory of worshiping with fellow Christians from across the globe.

Walking across hot sand up to my ankles at a refugee camp in Guinea, Africa, I was complaining to the Lord: "Why have our people from Sierra Leone been so forgotten? Thousands are here in this dreadful place to escape a brutal war. These people have served you faithfully."

Then from a distance I heard the faint sounds of singing: “Angels bow before him; heaven and earth adore him; what a mighty God we serve!" Was I hearing things? Getting to the camp had been a horrendous experience. The night before, we were held in a dungeon awaiting proof of our identity. Now, as we trudged closer, we came to a crude structure made of bush poles with brush piled on top. I was shocked that hundreds of people were in and around it singing. My complaining turned to tears as I stepped up to a pulpit of sticks. Joy filled the rough tabernacle as we joined together in true worship despite the circumstances. Around the throne there will be every tongue and nation worshiping our Lord in unity.

On a cool night in the mountains of Myanmar (Burma), I sat among 8,000 worshipers. The harmony of the music was almost angelic. Heads were lifted up; eyes gazed at the heavens as if they were seeing Jesus. There is limited freedom in Myanmar. Our entire tent was surrounded by armed soldiers. But inside we worshipped. I was not familiar with the song, but that made no differences as I was also being carried away by the very real sense of the Lord's presence. Soon, I began to hear a tune that sounded familiar. People began to move from their low benches and come toward the altar. They swayed and sang with growing intensity, lifting their hands. “When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be; when we all see Jesus, we will sing and shout the victory!” Tears streamed down my face as I caught a glimpse of the picture painted with words of Scripture.

"All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name" (Psalm 86:9).