Once a month, our African choir, newly named Echo Of Heaven, sings at our weekend service. Many of them come from East African refugee camps and are trying to make a go of it here in the US. When I listen, it’s a deeply spiritual experience for me. I can’t clap on their rhythm, keep up with their lyrics, or match their passion. It’s a metaphor for the mismatch of our faith. I’ve settled for a faith born out of the upper 5% – the globally rich. They’ve cultivated a faith at the opposite end. After 42 years in the American church, I have to say that what they have is more attractive than what I have. 165 years ago, David Livingston went to Africa as a missionary explorer. After that, streams of Protestant missionaries followed in his footsteps. But perhaps it’s time for the stream to flow in the opposite direction. Perhaps it’s time for Africa to come here and convert us.
(I took pictures of some of the lyrics so you can see the difference between American praise music and that borne out of suffering.)