Surprised In Song

I am always surprised on mission trips. Things just happen that are unexpected, both good and bad. The current trip is no exception. There have been many surprises, some pretty crazy, but here I mention three involving music and all good.

Sukuma people love to sing and when the church is gathered for almost any kind of meeting there is singing. Many times in the past our group, if large enough, has been asked to share a song. We have tried and the response from the church has generally been like, thanks for trying! In other words, not much of a response. The trip to Tanzania this time was different. For the first time, we have come with an African American and a worship leader at that. Of course, he made us sing much better, but the main thing I think was his charisma and God-given gift of song. People clapped, shouted amens and offered many other African sounds to show their appreciation. I have not experienced this in my 30 years of being in Africa. I was a bit blown away. Praise God for Jabbarri Jones and the team who sang and participated in the trip in so many positive ways to encourage the church and missionaries in Tanzania.

The second surprise came while Michele and I were driving in Dar Es Salaam with our Grandson Theo in the back seat. It was early evening and we had gone out in our son’s car to buy something at the store. Afterward, we decided to take a little drive along a nice stretch of road. While driving, Michele and I started singing one of our favorite songs from Psalm 34. Near the end of the song (when I thought we were singing pretty good, for us), our 4-year-old grandson, out of nowhere said, “that song makes me feel like praying.” He proceeded to put his hands together and thank God for a number of things about our time together and to talk about heaven. Michele and I listened and looked at each other smiling with tears in our eyes. It was an incredibly spiritual moment for all of us. A moment inspired by song. We will never forget it!

The third surprise came in Greece where the team had the opportunity to travel to a refugee camp. It was about an hour outside of Athens. We didn’t really know what to expect. Michele and I were with an older Korean lady and two Iranian Christians. At almost every tent or room that we visited in the camp, the Korean lady after eating and discussion would pull out her guitar and just start singing a song in Farsi (Iranian language). She and her two friends were then quickly into authentic praise and worship, offering thanks to God for the chance to be there and teach about God’s goodness. It seemed as though this was just a part of what they did and who they were. It was moving and a testament to their faith. Even at the very end of the day when we were waiting for our train, they brought out bread, cheese, and fruit, and even though we were in a hurry to catch the train they again broke out in song. It was a wonderful time of worship at the end of the day as we broke bread together. Amazing!

One surprise by someone using their spiritual gift from God, another from a child moved by the song and the Spirit, and another by worshipping in spirit and truth sharing the good news about Jesus. Thank God for those kinds of surprises.

Our SOCC team here in Greece is doing a great job. Praise God for all of them.

Other Posts You Might Like:

God of the Storm - Ross Thomson

The Idol of Control - Casey McCollum

Catching Up - Ross Thomson

Post-Truth - Ross Thomson

The Greatest Thing - Bob Bentley



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Sunday Worship Schedule
9:30 - Worship (English Service)
10:10 - Bible Class (Birth to 8th grade following the Kid's church time until the end of service)
11:00 - Worship (Spanish Service)

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6:30 - Celebrate Recovery

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