“Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples.” Psalm 117:1
I just got home from a terrific concert. My church hosted the Baraka Church worship choir from Brooklyn, New York. 14 singers and a 3-piece band took the stage, and filled our sanctuary with sweet gospel-style praise. What a treat!
When they visited for the first time last year, this talented group of men and women shared their music, and some of their lives, with us. We got to hear some personal testimonies from the members. Then we learned about the history and ongoing mission of the church from Baraka’s Pastor. He gave us items to pray for and challenged us to join them on their next trip to Haiti.
In the body of Christ, church congregations are connected by the bond of belief we share. And it’s wonderful when we can take the time to really get to know each other in a more personal way. But it doesn’t just happen – someone has to reach out. In this case, one of our pastors spent time with the leadership of Baraka, which led to an invitation.
A few years ago, our missions team heard about a Children’s Choir from Africa that was coming to tour the U.S. Again, through reaching out, we were able to convince them to spend a weekend with us. By the time they left, we knew a lot more about their school and their lives. We also found out some practical ways to help them.
Both these visits touched our hearts and opened our eyes. We are more aware of needs in other parts of the world, and have become more willing to respond. And, maybe most importantly, we’ve gotten to share times of worship and gotten to know some of our extended family!