Our team watched as thirteen pastors danced and sang in praise to God, nearly hitting the microphones in front of them that helped to record this newly written song. The song told the biblical story of Peter and John healing the lame man (Acts 3:1-10). Five pastors sat on the floor, playing percussion instruments such as the dholak, manjeera and maraca. The rest stood behind them, singing, dancing and shaking ankle bells. As we watched, they made walking motions for an entire verse. Then they switched to jumping and then started turning in circles. I suddenly realized that Acts 3:8 says that the lame man was, “walking and jumping, and praising God.” They had created entire verses for each action! I thought of the stories that the pastors told of people in their churches who had been healed. They had experienced similar stories first hand causing pure joy to exude from them!
The team consisted of people from Heart Sounds International (HSI) and a partner church in the midwestern US. This was our second trip together to South Asia to encourage a group of neary 60 pastors, most of whom have been persecuted for their faith, to compose indigenous worship songs for their people. These songs are being used to teach scriptures to their mostly illiterate congregations, and they now have songs that span the entire Bible.