Pictured on the left are some members of a choir from a poor township called Zolani. They were given the opportunity to train at Khanyisa Mountain Lodge in Robertson South Africa back in the spring. You see them dressed in their best for a presentation.
The director of the choir invited us to visit a rehearsal in the township. Odwa is a large robust man who was an original member of the Nelson Mandella Singers who toured nationally and internationally years ago. Music had shaped his life and he was working to provide a similar experience for the kids in the poor township.
It was a rainy and wind-swept day as we drove into the Xhosa neighborhood. The simple homes were standing within feet of one another. We walked into Odwa’s cinder brick home that had been built in stages. The open interior had exposed rafters and a tin roof. Rooms in the house were eight-foot walls open to the roof. The simple furnishings were tightly fitted into a corner open to the kitchen. Odwa graciously invited us in to sit and greet one another. He shared some of his experiences from years ago. At the same time his deep and powerful voice was impressive.
He then took us next door to an open room with no furniture where the choir had gathered out of the rain for rehearsals. There were over twenty young people tightly packed in a eight foot by twelve foot room. Odwa spoke in their native language of Xhosa, and they began to sing!
What followed was amazing and inspiring! Dancing was carefully choreographed along with motions and a crisp piercing sound. No speakers or microphones. Discipline and careful consideration had been given to the musical parts and the presentation of the music. My mind went to a favorite song from Josh Groban. You lift me up to more than I can be. That was happening in this tiny room.
This description doesn’t convey the magic and pleasure of the moment. When I walked away, I knew I had witnessed something very special. May God help us to encourage one another in a similar fashion. We certainly have faced tremendous uncertainty over the last three years.
Cathy and Danny Sartin
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Four decade veteran of youth ministry in churches, Youth For Christ and now is the Founder and Executive Director of Deeper Still Missions. Danny and his wife Cathy spend most of their time mentoring missionaries in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America. Future opportunities include South America and the Asia Pacific area.