Worship the "A" Way
6 February 2012
The “A” people* pray with upturned palms, wiggling their fingers now and again as they acknowledge the presence of God. They sing without instruments, driving the music forward with lively clapping. Each song is led by someone who is adept at spontaneously stringing together poetry. As the circle of worshippers sits, clapping to the beat, the leader sings out a line of worship. Then he sings another line that the others pick up as the chorus. Soon they sing this chorus heartily between each of the leader’s lines. The end result is stylized exactly like Psalm 136:
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.
As the song progresses, several stand up, tighten their wrap-around skirts and start dancing. From the young to the very old, they hop from foot to foot, raising their knees high while weaving and twisting through the other worshippers. They love Jesus!
After one or two songs, they sit on thin foam cushions lining the walls of the small, secret, rented room and prepare to hear from the Word of God. One of the believers, dressed as a sheik, sits cross-legged with his holy book open before him. Eyes are fixed on him he leads them into a story from Scripture.
They are amazed at how God relates to His people and how the people respond to God. There is laughter, sighs, expressions of empathy and understanding. Some are confused or troubled by the actions and words of some of the biblical characters. They grasp the Word and God grasps them. “Amin, Amin!” is heard with regularity as they listen.
*The "A" people, whom SIM does not name for security reasons, are a Muslim nomadic group that roams the Horn of Africa. For more about this people who are greatly loved by God, visit: The Open Door Behind Closed Doors and Storytelling Gives Nomads Roots in the Gospel.
"Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn't. Worship is ultimate."—John Piper