African Children’s Choir

In my worship journey, I’ve been recalling some specific moments of worship. Here’s one.

After a long, frightful plane ride across the ocean by myself, I land in the foreign land of Uganda. I get through customs; which seems surprisingly easy; claim my large bags, and meet the kind strangers that take me to where I am going. I am tired. I am scared. I am excited.

We arrive at the small house where I will begin my journey with the African Children’s Choir. Twenty-four adorable children race out of the house and zealously greet me. A handful of chaperones follow, offering warm hugs and help with my luggage. I am offered a small snack; a hard-boiled egg and a small banana. Understanding that I am tired and overwhelmed, they escort me upstairs to the room I will share with two others. With no running water at the moment, I have no option of the bath I so desperately want. I hoist myself up into the top bunk (being the last to arrive, I got whatever was left) to try and get a little bit of rest. This proves difficult, as it is about 10:00 in the morning and the sun is streaming through the window, right in my face. I content myself with simply lying down (being horizontal feels glorious), taking some deep breaths and convincing myself that I am in Africa. I put my headphones on and slip in one of my favorite CDs to help calm my nerves a little. As I lie there, another sound begins to drown out the music on my CD. I hit pause, slip the earphones off my ears and listen.

One of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard drifts it’s way through the open window by my head. It takes me a moment to realize it is the choir of children I have come here to work with.

Later that night, I find out what the beautiful sound was. The children were in their devotional time. It is how they start and end every day. Standing in a big circle, five or six children will lead the group in praise and worship. Each child picks a praise song and leads it, and the group will sing along, clapping lively and dancing to the drumbeat. The children sing at the top of their lungs, clapping and laughing. As the praise songs come to an end, each of the five or six children then chooses a worship song to lead. Eyes closed, hands raised as high as they can go, these beautiful children will once again sing with all they have in their little bodies. They lift it all up to their God.

As I end my first day in Uganda, I watch in amazement as my true definition of worship begins to unfold before my eyes.

Question: Is there a particular memory of worship that sticks out in your memory?

11 Replies to “African Children’s Choir”

  1. What an awesome opportunity you have in Uganda, Jamie! As a worship leader, this is sort of one of those bucket list items for me 🙂 God bless your endeavors.

    To me a beautiful sound, or picture, as far as worship memory, is any time that people in the congregation who have not previously engaged in worship experience His goodness for the first time. Though this isn’t always in a “worship service”, for me it is most touching when I see people go from being religious attendees to inspired members of the Body of Christ. I pray all goes well in Uganda!

    1. Thanks. This is actually a memory from about five years ago. I didn’t really make that clear. I’ve been writing my memories in present tense, to make it feel more “real.” Apparantely it’s working.
      Thanks for sharing your worship memory.

  2. Every time I see a video or remember listening to your “kids” I’m reminded of the glorious Presence that followed you everywhere you went with these precious ones!

  3. Wow, I can almost hear them singing now. What a wonderful experience that must have been!

    My current post tells about something God has led me to do in my personal worship time this year. Am loving it so far. So thankful for His leading!

    1. Should have mentioned God has led me to sing an old-fashioned hymn each day — all of the verses. So much blessing in singing and meditating on the messages in hymns!

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