Hey guys. Sorry about the long gap since my last post. What am I going to write about today? Music! Beautiful, sweet, Zambian hymns and praise songs! Music is one tool we can use to glorify our Master. Actually, the Bible says EVERYTHING we do, we should do to God’s glory. But I’m going to stay on the topic of music….
God has given each person a certain set of “passions”; things they are passionate about; things that make their heart swell with joy and love. For me, one of those passions is music. I’m a lover of almost all genres and all decades of music. Certain songs just make my heart want to burst with emotion! Zambian rooted praise and worship songs (whether English, Bemba, Nyanja, etc.) are a whole genre that make my heart smile, sing, and almost burst when I listen to, or sing along with them.
One reason Zambian music holds such a passionate place in my heart is because Zambians are incredibly passionate about music. When they sing, it’s with an incredible passion! To them, we “musungus” sing rather “passively” in general (not all of course). When we sing, are we singing as loud as we possibly can? Are we feeling it when we sing? Are we completely engulfed in our own world and not caring one iota about what others are thinking?
Everywhere I go, there is music involved! Everywhere I go, the people are praising the Lord in song; whether it be a church service, a classroom, walking through a village, or just hanging out having free-time. With music being such a part of culture and such a part of my personal self, singing with my friends here is probably my most favorite thing EVER!
Did I mention that when we sing upbeat praise songs it turns into somewhat of a dance party? But you know what’s beautiful? They dance as a way of expressing themselves to worship the Lord. Dancing and singing go hand-in-hand here…
Did I also mention the incredible musical talent Zambians have? They can clap, stomp, and step to a beat in such a way that it takes me FOREVER to catch on to. They pick up harmonies no problem and every one of them, 6 years old or 60 can stay on key. I’ve heard some of the most phenomenal voices I’ve EVER heard while living here! I have certain videos and recordings I play over and OVER just to hear certain voices.
One of my favorite memories concerning music while here was a Sunday afternoon when I spent 4 hours singing, dancing, and playing guitar and piano with some of my young adult/teen friends. We had all that free time, and music is what we chose to do. I will NEVER forget that day! I learned some Bemba songs and relearned a few English ones in Bemba…One of my friends was switching off with me on piano and guitar duties and we were showing each other different techniques…Ahh the memories! ❤
Another favorite memory is singing with my hospitality friends. They sing every day to begin class. Last time I was there for singing, we sang for about an hour and a half. I was sitting between two of my friends, Gasper and Brenda. We started out singing slower songs in our seats, but Brenda, Gasper, and I were swaying and dancing (as the beat picked up) in our seats! Soon, Madam Getrude (teacher) said, “Everyone stand!” We all cheered as we stood and arranged ourselves in a horseshoe shape. She started a song; we picked out a step to match the beat, clapped along, and sang. During the song different people could be heard shouting out “Yes Lord!” or “Efyo!” or just shouting out of feeling. One could look around the room and see certain people dancing or others raising their hands with their eyes closed while tears streamed down their faces. What I love is that no one focuses on their neighbor or what their neighbor my think of them. They simply worship the Lord however they are led.
After we spent some time standing and singing, Madam had us all kneel right where we were. We sang one “worshipping chorus” which, in English, says, “Just take me as I am. Lord Jesus Christ, who died for me, just take me as I am”. Madam Getrude had us close our eyes as we sang this song in two languages to our savior. After we sang this song, we sang another similar chorus in Bemba and prayed together. Oh how close I feel to the Lord during these times! ❤ I could sing with these friends ALL DAY LONG!
So, if you were wondering what my favorite thing about Zambia is thus far, or if you’re wondering what I’ll miss most when I return to the states, here’s your answer: besides the wonderful new friends I’ve made, the music and singing, without a doubt, are my favorite things and what I will miss the most when I’m not here!
God created a beautiful thing when he created music! ❤