When we arrive at the front gate of the Kipé missionary home we can hear melodious voices echoing in the wind. As we make our way to the roof of the three story home we find six people from Ghana singing Kingdom Melodies in the Twi language. These 3 brothers and 3 sisters were special pioneers in foreign services here in Guinea but just this month they have join the ranks of missionaries. How happy we are to hear them singing from the Song book just released in the Twi language in Ghana this last district convention.
Turns out that this is not the only music we hear this evening. We have 4 special pioneers (also appointed missionaries as of this month) who are from Nigeria and we get to hear them sing Kingdom Melodies in Yoruba. They sing “Preach the Word” (number 92) and by the end of the song all the other missionaries have learned the chorus in Yoruba and are enthusiastically chiming in “Wahmahsuu!”
Then our Zone Overseer's wife offers to sing. Turns out that she is an opera singer and can be heard on the recordings of the new Kingdom Melodies. She even gives her experience on the Young People Ask video (about what you should do with your life) and explains how she gave up a lucrative career in the opera world. When she tells us her story about how she learned the truth she says that when she finally gave up singing opera in worldly plays and musicals it was very hard for her and she cried for 5 years, not because it wasn't the right thing to do but because she loved singing very much and she hated to give it up. Little did she know that years later she would be using her beautiful voice to sing Kingdom Melodies heard all over the world on millions of Cd's! As her lovely voice rings out now to an audience of attentive missionaries, I can't help but think that Jehovah has blessed her sending her on a “World Tour” of sorts as she visits numerous countries singing in each country as part of their Zone overseer work. Then I think how blessed we are to be able to have her serenade us with her beautiful voice. Who would have thought I would be listening to an Italian opera concert all the way in Guinea?!
Turns out, for the first time ever, this night Guinea hosts a kind of Missionary Kingdom Melody Karaoke! Song number 87 (Now We Are One) is even dedicated to Jean Paul and Babette. Today is their anniversary and everyone gets up to sing to them. This bring them to tears and Babettes says “no one has ever done that for us before!” Everyone sings at some point and even I am forced to stand up and join two others in sign language Kingdom Melodies. Peter says that it's been about 10 years since he's last seen me sign a song and he is actually moved by it.
This evening turns out to be very memorable but not only because of the fine company and wonderful entertainment. We are treated to a wonderful meal of at least 6 different kinds of fine cheeses (It's a French meal, what do you expect?), sausages, spring rolls, eggplant lasagna and tasty salads. Desert is a hazelnut cake and a thick slice of homemade dark chocolate fudge. These all go quite well with wine and beer, a special treat for any missionary.