Sunday, March 01, 2009

Acacias and Singing

We went to Nairobi chapel yesterday. It was two hours I could really lose myself in. The music was stirring: a blend of English and Swahili songs. Even Blessed Be Your Name sounded African. The mix sounded like a CD, which is not always the case in PA equipped churches in Kenya. I looked at the the cement walls, the angles of the various wings and hallways and was amazed at how clear the sound was.
Students at Machakos Academy near Machakos, Kenya. We participated in their Sunday school during Africa Based Orientation.

Then during the announcements, they displayed a picture of a beautiful girl from the worship team that died last week, from an unknown stomach problem. And they sang a song that asked what do we do when we feel God is a million miles away... We sing because we know how much He loves us. We sing because of who He is.

I had two images in my mind. First, Breanna asking me why everyone here knows how to sing, and sing well. At schools we went to during Africa Based Orientation, the kids sang together, waiting for the service to begin... without anyone up front. Just singing. The music surged and swelled, and completely washed over us.

My second image was of talking to another missionary under the shade of an acacia tree. He loved acacias. “They are just a picture of Africa to me,” he said. They do provide great shade, but when you look at them, they have thorns that over an inch long. “You will find that most things in Africa have some sort of thorn for protection like that!” He told me.

A rugged attraction is growing and pulling at me here. Every resource from plant, to animal, to person, has to be guarded. We have thorn bushes and we have spikes on our gate. But there is a beauty that lives in this hard land.
The people that walk this ground from childhood to elderhood, know what to do when the rains come or if the ground stays dry, when troubles come over the gate, or a friend drops by... they sing.

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