Category: The Sounds of Missions

Here are some selections of Indian worship. The first thing you will notice is how different it is from the African music previously recorded. The second thing you will probably notice is that the Indian melodies are quite a bit more complex than the African music and have a very definite and beautifully unique Far-Eastern quality to them. Many of these melodies would be difficult for me to sing even if I knew the words. This is classic Indian music from the grass-roots level, and these folks have been singing it since birth, so their wiring is attuned to this style. See what you think…

India Worship 2 mins

India Worship 1 min

India Solo 1&halfmins

India Worship abt4mins

I was quite surprised and pleased yesterday during the worship service  to hear this unusual moment in African worship. I think it occurred because of some of the teaching I have given about worship and meditation in scripture. The speaker is Geoffrey, the former prison convert and pastor whom I have referred to before.

African prayer can be quite boisterous and often seems like one voice may be competing with another for volume. Here is an example of maturing prayer where the congregation is exhorted to meditate, which I have heard in no other church since I’ve been here, and the result was this very sweet worship moment that is  mostly silence. I think if you listen to the whole 2 minutes or so, you will be as impressed with the quiet presence of God, and you may have a worship moment as you listen. This was quite a different kind of sound in African worship, and again, I am deeply humbled.

Bujjowali Meditation 030313 2mins

Here is some more UgaCIMG0135ndan Worship. This is 11 minutes long, but I think it’s worth it. It gets better as it goes along. Note again, the only musical instruments are African drums and hand claps. You can get quite addicted to this. This means “There is no god like You, only You.” I believe that is a loose translation.

Bujjowali Worship Weywey 11 minsDrummers by the Door in Bujjowali Jan 2013

Geofrey’s Testimony

This is the testimony of a young Ugandan man named Geofrey. He received Christ in prison and became the prison pastor in just a short time. Samuel Wasula, pastor at Bujjowali, recruited him when he was released about two weeks ago. He is a dynamic young Christian, and he has been attending the teaching in between looking for a job and surviving as a newly released prisoner.

His testimony is a bit long, but it you have time and can deal with the accent, it’s worth it. He sounds a bit halting here as he fishes for the correct English words, but his English is really very good.

Toward the end, he will refer to some prisoners who escaped and were captured and returned – this story is a bit vague, and I don’t have the details, but his point is that when you come to Christ, you are never returned to your former prison.

Additionally, he will refer to Christ as “condemning” him, but what he means is “convicting” him.

This is a fine young man who has come to us from the prison ministry of a local Ugandan pastor whom I haven’t met. I hope to keep him and involve him in the future of the ministry here.

Geoffrey testimony

Here is one song from the worship in Kasimbira. It takes them a moment to get warmed up, but then that pure African music comes through. The first sounds you hear will be the church praying together – it sounds a bit raucous to the American ear, but that’s the way they do it here, at least where I’ve been. After all, raucous is in the ear of the beholder, and we know whose Ear it’s intended for anyway.

Kasimbira Worship 1

If you’d like to listen to something a little longer than the first worship selection I posted, here’s a selection from my first Sunday in Uganda at Bujjowali Church in Jinja, Uganda. This one is quite long, and worth jumping around in to get a flavor of the whole experience if you don’t choose to listen straight through. It gets better as it goes along. All this from about 20-30 people.

Long Worship Bujjowali 3


I think the kids will enjoy this story. I’ve been dying to write it, but have been busy with other things. On the second of my teaching 2 weeks ago in the little church at Bujjowali, Uganda, a chicken flew in the window and walked across some piled up materials (basically junk) stored in disarray at the back of the room. She perched on a piece of wood and began preaching at us while we were in class.

We were talking and reading the Bible. I was at the front of the group sharing, and the chicken acted like she wanted to be part of the class. I have attached a recording of it here. It is really funny to me.

Chicken Preaching

It turns out that she wasn’t so much preaching as fussing. The chickens have a hen house where they’re supposed to lay their eggs. But several of the hens decided that the area behind the miscellaneous stored items at the back of the worship center would be a better place to CIMG0057build their nests. Nobody’s there most of the week, and on Sundays, the hens keep quiet because there are so many peoP1080275ple there. So up till now, no one has noticed the “secret” nests.

But when we started spending long hours in the room, talking and moving around, the hens’ union apparently decided to send their representative to confront us and tell us we need to move away from the nesting area. So, once you look at these pictures and hear the recording, you will realize that she’s scolding us rather brazenly.

The last picture you will see here is the men moving the chickens back to the hen-house so we can continue our CIMG0060lessons. Today, while I was teaching, two weeks after all this went down, two hens flew in the window repeatedly and tried to find their former nesting area, but, of course by now, the church members have cleaned all that stuff out and neatened up the area, so the hens were sorely disappointed and repeatedly chased out of the room. Sometimes while I’m talking, I will walk to the back and shoo the chickens back out the window – I have learned not to even break stride in what I’m saying while waving my arms at the hens.

On a funny note, the only day we have had chicken in our daily soup lunch was the day after the preaching incident. I wondered aloud at the time whether this was “the preaching chicken from yesterday,” but no one would own up to it.

I’m going to put up here a quick example of the kind of worship the churches do here without much comment. It’s late here and I need to go to bed so I can get up and go to the local market at 7 a.m. However, I wanted you to hear a little of what I’ve been hearing and loving – I just love African music! See if you agree…

Short Worship 3