|Why We Worship Conference: Johannesburg 1999|
Friday was day 2 of the Why We Worship conference in Johannesburg, South Africaby Donn Edwards
Each worship set and each worship leader has provided a different flavour and dynamic to the conference. And yet through all of this, God is speaking, and weaving a wonderful tapestry. This tapestry has different colours and textures, and it tells many stories of love. Not only does it tell of Gods love for us, but it tells of our response to Him.
Take, for example, the traditional African song Thula Sizwe:
The manifest presence of the Holy Spirit once again brought tears streaming down my face, to the point where I could hardly sing the opening verse of Praise Psalm by Sibusiso Ntsala:
I spoke to Rita Springer before the start of her set, and was impressed by her commitment to serving others and being inclusive. Im sure she would have preferred not leading at all, but came as a servant and included others. The result was just a wonderful combination, with her powerful, passionate voice and a tender leading that was sweet and fragrant. So Come, Now is the Time became a call to the lost and the broken to gather together and receive healing and forgiveness.
From there we moved on to Moving with the Lamb by Sibusiso Ntsala. They tried to persuade him to sing the song, but he preferred to stick to playing keyboards and percussion. You are going to hear a lot more of Moving with the Lamb in the months to come.
The evening set was completely different, yet again. Brent Helming was in charge, and he too chose to include others in the process. It was my night off in that I wasnt operating the chorus board, and had more freedom to express myself. It also gave me the opportunity to see how people were responding during worship. The New Covenant Church in Bryanston is decorated on the inside by about 50 flags, each one representing a nation that they have relating churches or missionaries in. So it didnt seem out of place to wave a few more flags. I found some hear the front, and during Jesus Lead On did exactly that. Then we did Pour out my heart with a very African flavour, followed by Simon van Niekerks song Vula Amanzi, Umfula Ahambe, which means let the river flow.
Simon led the worship during this song, and the Vula Amanzi part is sung almost like a war cry of the Israelites being led into battle by the priests with their trumpets and other musical instruments.
Simon followed this with a wonderful song by Thys Meades called Bring Me Back. The second verse goes:
After Jeremy Cooks message we went into a wonderful time of ministry, where the Holy Spirit ministered particularly to the musicians, empowering and equipping them, and giving them new vision and passion for the lost.
Thus ended day 2. As I write this, Saturday has started with a thunderstorm in the early morning, and we are expectant of great things today.
Copyright © 1999 Donn Edwards, Sibusiso Ntsala, Thys Meades, Simon van Niekerk
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