7 Days of Zambia: Day 4
Hard to Match the Depth of African Worship Service
June 7, 2011 - It's more than the music. More than the passion. More than even the robes. True African worship comes straight from the soul.
By Trevor Freeze
The melodious sounds of an African worship service permeated through the windows.
You could only imagine what was going on inside the church.
An African choir dressed in robes?
A packed house, singing, raising their hands, tears coming down their cheeks?
I would soon find out.
But as honored guests at Grace Ministries International Dominion Center, we were going to receive a proper entrance, through the middle of this Zambian choir, after a short time of prayer.
As the house was rocking with worship music — unfamiliar to my ears but soothing to my soul — and we entered through the back-stage door with the pastors it suddenly hit me:
This was my first VIP experience.
But it wouldn't be my last.
After all, I was traveling with the My Hope team. The team sent out by Billy Graham to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. And even though I was just the media guy, that was enough to get not just a warm introduction and a nice ovation, but a spot behind the microphone.
Uh, hello? Is this thing on?
Journalists are comfortable asking the questions, but actually going on the record? To a congregation of 500-plus, on their third hour of sitting in an air-condition-less sanctuary. This better be good.
Don't worry, I kept it short. And I didn't embarrass myself or My Hope. I hope not, at least.
I did thank them for being a part of the My Hope project and encouraged them to start praying for friends and family they could invite.
There may have been a joke about how bad I sing in there too, but it didn't get many laughs (maybe everyone didn't understand my English?). And really, it's all relative in Africa, as it seems like everyone can sing better than you.
But as for those African choir robes? The melodious choruses? The spirited worship? The raising hands, doubling over and tears streaming down their cheeks?
Yeah, it was all there as I imagined. But mostly it was the Holy Spirit moving.
To describe African worship is like showing your friends pictures from the Grand Canyon.
But believe me, there is a depth there you can't find with a rented mule.
"7 Days of Zambia" is a first-person blog, following the My Hope Zambia project through the lens of a reporter. For more info on the My Hope project, click here.