Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sing a New Hallelujah

Can you hear, there's a new song
Breaking out from the children of freedom
Every race and every nation
Sing it out sing a new Hallelujah

When DD#1 suggested that we act as a host home for a choir visiting our church, I admit I was nervous. Our home was a serious fixer-upper, and while we've fixed-up a lot, we have much still to do. I wondered where everyone would sleep, whether they'd be embarrassed to ride in my old car, if we'd know what to say.

After this weekend, I'm ashamed of myself. I almost robbed my family of one of the greatest blessings we've had in a long time.

The Daraja Children's Choir is a ministry of 410 Bridge, an organization doing great work in Kenya. In a world when Christian relief efforts seem to often be miles wide but only inches deep, 410 has chosen to sow deeply in a few communities, partnering with local Christians to provide clean water and educational opportunities. Our pastor's parents have served over fifty years on African mission fields; now in their eighties, they help provide pastoral support for one of the 410 partner villages. Our church has had a deep love for the Kenyan people for many years, and this more recent connection with 410 Bridge and Daraja Choir has only strengthened the bond.

Twenty-two smiling Kenyan children descended on our church for the weekend. Betty, Esther, and Cynthia came to stay at our house, and my family will never be the same.

We played Twister (not quite the same at 41 as it was at 11) and Sardines. They poured over our bookshelves and instantly became kindred spirits with the bibliophiles who live here. We looked at pictures of their homes and families outside Narobi. Betty's album featured three different pictures of the family's water spigot, where, she emphasized, the water that came out was clean.

Ya'll, I had been worried about how my house was measuring up to some of the other host homes they'd visited.

The director of the choir spoke last night during their concert. There is much that we have that these children do not, she said. We have lots more stuff. But there is one other thing we have that they don't:


As entitled Americans, we are frustrated that God is messing with our stuff. These kids are excited about water spigots.

And they are excited about their Savior.

One thing they had that I really, really want is contagious joy . They exuded it; it radiated from their faces. I want that.

Our idea of the simple life in America is buying organic and, if you're really out there, having a composting toilet. In other words, the "simple life" here is expensive.

I want to get to the point where I don't want stuff, even politically correct "green" stuff.
I want to truly get to the point where my stuff is God's stuff, because He owns it all anyway.

I want Christ to be my Treasure.

And my contagious Joy.


PS If you are interested in having the amazing Daraja Children's Choir come to your church, you can visit


  1. Isn't that the truth - how soft we've become and how much our 'stuff' means to us. Get back to the basics, of faith. Believing God. Letting go. Serving. Occupying til Christ comes.

  2. My family hosted a choir years ago (it was a girls choir from a Christian recovery home... when the girls recovered from their pain, heartache, rebellion or whatever, they sang at churches. I will NEVER forget talking to those girls that night. I know my parents didn't feel like we had enough space, but it was such a blessing to me. It's awesome that you were willing to do that!