Music opened up my life

I've learned wonderful things about the various cultures of the world, by listening to different types of music. For example, once when I lived in Togo, I attended a wedding with friends of my family, and I saw my fellow countrymen singing hymns in a Baptist Church. What a great thing to see people of all ages, and all social classes, singing about the Lord's wonders in unison! The choir members sang, clapped their hands, and danced to the rhythm of the piano and drumbeats. The whole congregation smiled; they seemed filled with inspiration. I saw this as a magnificent expression of spontaneity, joy, and energy.

These qualities are described in certain Bible verses, that I find especially helpful and inspiring. "O come, let us sing unto the Lord ... Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms," it says in Psalms (95:1, 2). And "Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works" (105:2).

I also enjoy listening to the melodious sounds and words of certain African songs. King Mensah, a popular singer from Togo, plays traditional Togolese music with "tam-tam," and other African instruments. There's a song of his I like very much. It has exceptionally good music. And I think that the lyrics have a message of hope for me and my fellow countrymen. It's called simply "God Says."

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I was a refugee at thirteen
January 1, 2001

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