The gospel community has recorded a moving song to help raise funds for Haiti relief. "Are You Listening: A Love Song for Haiti," was written by Kirk Franklin and features some of the most prominent names in gospel music.
Franklin, who calls the effort "the gospel community’s answer to 'We Are the World,'" brought over 150 people together for the recording, including BeBe and CeCe Winans, Marvin Winans, Yolanda Adams, Marvin Sapp, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin, Natalie Grant, Shirley Caesar, Jeremy Camp, J. Moss, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Karen Clark-Sheard, Kiki Sheard, and Bishop Paul Morton.
"We see [the people of Haiti] as God's children," Franklin said. "We want to do our part and I just want people to know that the gospel community can respond to a powerful natural disaster, and for the first time it will."
Franklin wrote the song in 2001, after the 9/11 tragedy, but was not able to use it at the time. "It's a song God gave me after 9/11, but by the time I finished it, the timing had passed and I was just never able to marry it to anything," he said. "But as I watched what was going on in Haiti, the Lord brought it to my attention that it would be perfect. We're trying to record it as quickly as we can so that we can have it to radio within a week and a half, with all of the proceeds going to the people of Haiti."
The project deeply affected many of the participants, including Claude Lataillade, who was born in Port-au-Prince and still has relatives there.
"It's really sad," he said. "It's the worst scenario for Haiti. They don't have the right infrastructure to handle the kind of devastation that has befallen Port-au-Prince. What I'm hoping is with all this world outpouring, Haiti can get a fresh start out of the ashes."
For Bishop Paul Morton, memories of Hurricane Katrina came rushing back -- Morton lost his church and home in the 2005 disaster.
"Every day I think about Katrina. And because of what we've gone through in New Orleans, I'm more sensitive to the people of Haiti, and to the fact that people reached out to us," he said. "It's so devastating and I think Kirk's right for providing us the opportunity to come together and give back, particularly of our talents."
CeCe Winans summed up the feelings of the participants best when she said: "[This song] is what Gospel is about -- loving people and being the extended hands of God."
God bless everyone who has been affected by the earthquake.
We stand by them, support them, care for them, love them…and will never stop helping them.