Sing Out Loud!

When One Purpose went to Moldova last fall we had the amazing privilege of meeting several of Crossover’s church planters and their wives from Central Asia.  They were at Crossover Moldova’s Missionary Training Center (MTC) for some time of refreshment, training, and rest.  We had the opportunity to just sit and visit with the wives a few times before they left.

As we sat and visited with these precious women we learned they were all first generation Christians.  In other words, they were the first of their families to come to know Christ.  I don’t know about you, but I am probably the 10th or so generation.  These precious women and their husbands have accepted a call on their lives to take Jesus to their villages in Central Asia.  These are places where they could, at the very least, be jailed for talking about Jesus.  As they began to tell us about a typical worship service, we just sat and listened with unbelief.  When they meet to worship, they do so in one of their homes sitting on the floor around a table with a prepared meal.  This way, if the authorities come to check them out, they can honestly say they are meeting for a meal.

Here’s the part that really got the three of us.  Whenever they sing for worship, they have to do it one at a time.  In other words, one would take a verse and sing softly and then another and so on.  No wonder while they were at the MTC they worshipped loudly with their voices and instruments.  They laughed and cried and rejoiced.  We would hear them down the hall.  It was wonderful.  Can you imagine not being able to worship as we do here in the United States?  We have so much freedom!

Sadly, I’ve noticed that we take that freedom for granted.  Recently I had some vocal issues that caused me to have to be on vocal rest for a few weeks.  That was so hard for me!  It would even bring me to tears on occasion.  I can’t imagine not being able to worship in that way on a regular basis.  Yet that’s how it is for our brothers and sisters in countries where the name of Jesus cannot be proclaimed freely.

So the next time you have the opportunity to sing in church with your brothers and sisters in Christ, sing out loud.  That’s how it will be when we all join together in heaven.  Listen to this account from John in Revelation 7:9-10:

After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands.   And they were shouting with a great roar, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”

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