The heat of the day remained on my skin even though the sun, exhausted by its effortful grating, had retreated hours before. The steady hum of the generator was accompanied by the occasional light flicker. The room’s floor was tiled and its parameter was lined with furniture that had been pushed there in an effort to create space. Cushions covered the floor and children, shoulder to shoulder, sat facing forward with feathered hearts and eager minds. They spoke in different tongues yet they gathered together independent from their parents to practice the faith that feathered their hearts and made their minds so eager.
The music started. The oldest children, on the verge of adulthood, led worship with a piano, violin, guitar, and their voices. I could hear myself singing along and I could feel my body swaying back and forth, keeping time. In processing each detail I fell further and further into surreal contentment. Regardless of tradition, these children proved mankind could be unified under a God that knows no boundaries of language, distance, or political opinion. I was encountering a real God; one that chose the humble things of this world to upstage the grandiose.
People heal in Africa; at least that’s what I was told. There is much brokenness, poverty and corruption there, but in the dysfunction there is a necessity to believe. So people find healing. The developed world basks in the conveniences that developed it and forgets its own dysfunction; it forgets its need to believe in something greater.
There is no biological explanation for the pleasure found in music or the joy found through dance, but humanity uses both to communicate the condition of its soul. The children I met that night in the oppressive heat of Burkina had access to fewer conveniences than some, so in the end they forgot less and remembered more. They sang and danced because innately they knew there was nothing more natural than using unexplainable joys as a means to worship an Almighty God.
Video taken during a service trip to a local village with the Wired Youth Group out of Ouagadougou