Everybody crams together into the small building until there is barely room to breathe. The women all come dressed in their best and most colorful dresses. They bring their own homemade instruments, their strongest singing and hearts filled with praise.
They come to worship – to lift their voices and hands together in a loud, joyful, harmonious melody of worship. Everyone sings and everyone dances and everyone prays for hours on end. Even though our team doesn’t speak their language or know their culture, we are warmly invited to participate. They pull us into the circle to dance and clap. They laugh with us when we trip over our own feet and shout Hallelujahs when we pray.
This is the church, the body of Christ, united by a bond stronger than language and cultural barriers. One of the pastors introduced our team this way: “We are usually mostly black, but we have a brighter color here today. But we are all one color. There is no black, no white, and no yellow. In Jesus, we have one name. We are one people.”
Every other time of the week, they work so hard, struggle to scrape together a life from the little they have, and sit helplessly beside their sick babies. But every Sunday, they gather in the sanctuary to celebrate Who God is and what He has done with them. They believe in Jesus’ power to save and anchor their hope in their prayers. Hallelujahs are the cry of their hearts.
At one point, the pastor called out – “If this worship be so, what will heaven be?” All I know is that an African church service is just a taste of the glories of heavenly worship, we are all in for a treat.
“Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, For you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” – Revelation 5:9-10