Singer Michael W. Smith was devastated to learn about the ongoing atrocities committed by Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.
“I just can’t comprehend how somebody can just go in and just start killing people,” he says. “It just blows my mind … you see the pictures, you know what’s going on and it just moves me. And a lot of times, I don’t know what to say. I end up crying.”
Smith responded by writing and recording “Cry For Hope,” a new instrumental single recorded with the Nashville Recording Orchestra. “It’s really different than anything I think I’ve ever written and inspired by John Williams, probably like ‘Schindler’s List’ a little bit,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve ever written a melody that haunting, and it has a little hope in it.”
A portion of the proceeds from “Cry For Hope” will be distributed to Ukraine.
“I don’t care about making any money on this,” Smith said, adding that his team also is supporting Samaritan’s Purse, which is providing medical care and aid to refugees in Poland. “The supplies that they’re sending over are just enormous. This need is going to be great for a very, very long time. Can you just imagine just your family and all your memories and you’re forced to leave everything you’ve known your whole life, and you’re sleeping on a cot at some refugee camp overnight? Try to imagine that happening to us, as Americans. We can’t comprehend that. And that’s what’s happened to those people.”
“Cry For Hope” already has been distributed to troops on the ground in Ukraine, Smith said, and he’s been moved by the overwhelming reception it’s seen. Smith, who has won three Grammy Awards, 45 Dove Awards, one American Music Award and was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, often uses his platform and resources to help those in need. He has raised funds to battle AIDS in Africa, started Rocketown, a safe haven for young people in Tennessee to meet and find hope, and has helped more than 70,000 children through Compassion International, among other ventures.
“You’re either going to be a rock star or you’re going to be a servant,” he said. “I have the ability, we all have the ability, to alleviate somebody’s pain, we all do. Some of the most miserable people I know are people who have a lot of things, and some of the happiest people I know are people who give their lives away. I can always do better; I don’t do enough. It’s always a challenge for me, too. I don’t want to run myself in the ground, feeling guilty. But I can always do more. And that’s what I think the body of Christ, especially believers, that’s what we’re called to do.”