One of the great things about visiting Rwanda is the music–particularly in worship. There are six choirs at Sonrise School, and they each sing at each worship service (three each for the Primary and High School). This is one of the reasons the services run as long as they do, and it gives an opportunity for as much active participation as possible. Giving a nation back its song after it had been extinguished in genocide is one of the true resurrection stories of this place.
Worship music includes songs written by students, hymns, as well as choruses from the West (these tend to be the praise choruses based on scripture that churches in the US sang in the ’70’s, particularly in the pentecostal traditions–they are livelier and fit the style here). They also represent the music brought by the missionaries. Today you can hear almost anything on the radio in Rwanda, and the diocese would like to launch a Christian radio station. While I have some thoughts on that, I also remember that it was through radio, more than any other mass appeal, that persuaded Rwandans to murder their neighbors in 1994. It is yet one more arena to be renewed.
Pray for the choirs at Sonrise School, and for the songs in this place.
Click on the link below to hear a brief clip of a Sonrise Choir. The song is written by a student, based on Beatitudes.
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